Uma Bawang Fire Victims Receive Immediate Assistance from Sarawak Energy

KUCHING, 17 APRIL 2019, WEDNESDAY: Victims of Monday’s longhouse fire at Uma Bawang, Belaga received aid and assistance from Sarawak Energy in the immediate aftermath of the blaze which engulfed 42 units or bileks in two longhouse blocks, and a community church.

About 500 residents were affected when their homes were destroyed in the fire at around 6.00pm. Sarawak Energy instantly mobilised assistance in the form of food and clothing for the victims, who are currently putting up at neighbouring blocks of the longhouse and the nearby kindergarten.

Uma Bawang, comprising 5 longhouse blocks with 112 units, is situated about 50km away from Bakun Hydroelectric Powerplant (HEP). The longhouse was one of 15 that moved to the Bakun Resettlement Area for the hydropower project twenty years ago.

Jiwari Abdullah, General Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability said in commenting on the tragedy, “Sarawak Energy contributes RM21,000 to the victims to assist in their welfare and another RM5,000 each for the community church and the Sungai Asap Fire Fighter Volunteers Association.”

Sarawak Energy was among the first to deliver immediate relief aid such as food, clothing and toiletries for the victims with more assistance delivered the following day after the fire.

“We will also continue to work with and assess the longer term needs of our neighbouring communities in mitigating this ever-present longhouse fire risk. We will work together with the Welfare Department, Belaga District Office, community leaders and the Sungai Asap Fire Fighters Volunteers Association in this,” he added.

Sarawak Energy sponsored a fully equipped fire-fighting vehicle in November 2018 to replace the older vehicle for the Sungai Asap Fire Fighter Volunteers Association. The team was on scene to help fight the blaze before the official Fire Brigade arrived from Bintulu.

Since the acquisition of Bakun HEP, Sarawak Energy has worked closely with the Sungai Asap Fire Fighter Volunteers Association on Fire Safety Awareness and Prevention Programmes for the longhouses in the Bakun Resettlement Area.

The corporation also assists in training programmes for the association members and has contributed fire extinguishers and firefighting equipment to the communities.

Sarawak Energy Community Relations Executive Irwan Borhan (center) delivering the immediate aid to Uma Bawang headman Ellision Duren. Also seen in the photo are Sungai Asap Fire Fighters Volunteers Association chairman Tirah Lawai (second left) and Pemanca Umek Jeno (extreme right).

Sarawak Energy sent in more relief aids to the victims in the aftermath of the fire, to assist in their welfare.