Bruneians deployed to assist Sulawesi response operations

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) yesterday deployed two members of the ASEAN-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) from Brunei Darussalam to Sulawesi, to assist response operations in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami which struck Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on September 28.

Mohammad FairulIdzuan bin Jahri from the NDMC and Mohammad Shazwan bin Suhanie from the Fire and Rescue Department will be in Sulawesi for a 10-day assessment.

Mohammad FairulIdzuan, in an interview with the Bulletin, said, “There are three major tasks for us to conduct in Sulawesi: assessing the situation, facilitating the relief items and improving the coordination between the various agencies.

“This is my first deployment in a disaster situation. This will also be an opportunity for us to learn and gain experience while on an operation in a major disaster. We have to carry out our job according to the needs and scale of the disaster,” he added.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Security and Welfare) at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) Ajman bin Haji Meludin, Director of the NDMC and Acting Director of Fire and Rescue Colonel (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Maiddin bin Pengiran Haji Said, officers and staff from departments under  the MoHA, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the Ministry of Health and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces were present to see the delegation off at the Brunei International Airport.

Other members of the ASEAN-ERAT from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were assigned by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) to gather information on the scale, severity and impact of the earthquake and to assess the immediate needs of the affected population in support of the Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) Indonesia.

The earthquake and tsunami which struck Central Sulawesi, Indonesia caused widespread destruction and massive loss of life. In the 9th Situation Report dated October 8, issued by the AHA Centre, a total of 1,948 fatalities and 10,679 injuries were recorded, while 74,444 people were left homeless.

The deployment of the ASEAN-ERAT members is one action taken by Brunei Darussalam to further strengthen the spirit of ASEAN and to show the nation’s commitment to support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and the ASEAN Declaration on ‘One ASEAN one Response’.

Brunei Darussalam will continue to monitor the situation in Sulawesi through the AHA Centre and the NDMC.

Meanwhile, members of the public can donate money to the Sulawesi Disaster Humanitarian Fund up to January 6, 2019, following the setting up of the Fund last Tuesday.

To donate via SMS from October 9 to November 22, the public only need to type the word ‘BANTU’ and the cash amount in 1, 5, 10, 15 or 20 without any spacing  – for example, BANTU20 for a donation of BND20 – before sending to 38111.

Donations can also be forwarded to the Sulawesi Disaster Humanitarian Fund Secretariat at the Finance and Administration Division on the second floor of the MCYS building during office hours, or via an online transfer to the Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) account at 00-001-01-0076007.

Donation boxes will also be allocated in banks, shopping complexes and government buildings across the country, while donation boxes in mosques and suraus will be made available starting tomorrow.