Entulang Danau

A Roof Above Their Heads

This is a backpost of the launching of Rumah Noria, Entulang Danau last August 2010 by the Minister of Rural and Regional Development. I could clearly remember it as this was my first attempt at coordinating  assistance for Rumah Noria, Entulang Danau in Sri Aman. The longhouse was destroyed by fire in the early morning of October 2008. I was in Damai Puri Resort at that time attending the Parliamentary Discourse and the official launch of the Sarawak Report. All this was mentioned in my previous blog post entitle Hectic Week in October 2008. But you won't be able to see the photos there as its part of the database that disappeared when I lost the backup information. The photos also went missing when executed the database transfer between the old and new servers. Luckily I kept some of the photos in other places and I am able to piece together how Rumah Noria rose from the ashes with the kind assistance of the Government.

Top left: Ashes on the top left hand corner pinpoints the site of the burnt down Rumah Noria (photo taken on March 2009 during my Flying DR Post). This was about six months after the fire

The day after the fire in October 2008

The longhouse dwellers had to stay in makeshift structures after the fire in October 2008

The first person to relay about the fire to me at that time was the late Micheal Edward. Thus the challenging task of coordinating assistance began. Being new in the Division (I began my duties in Sri Aman in August 2008), I found out that it was not easy to connect the various agencies. This was not Kuching where all the headquarters and departments concerned were a phone call (even walking distance) away. But the welfare agencies were quick in their response by providing the victims with their basic needs. The local Yang Berhormats came in to help too. From then onwards it was the challenge of trying to rebuild the houses and lives of the Entulang Danau folks. It was fortunate that the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development had finalised the design for a modern design longhouse for the rural poor by the middle of 2009 and the State's Ministry of Rural Development picked Rumah Noria as the pioneer for the longhouse construction. The contractors were picked and they started work by November 2009.

The longhouse construction progress in December 2009

The longhouse construction progress in Jan 2010

Ready for occupation: the longhouse in May 2010

All ready for launch ~ from left: Encik Jasnie (Ministry of Rural and Regional Development), YB Datuk Francis Harden ak Hollis, Ybhg Datu Chaiti, YB Encik Mong Dagang and another officer from the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development

The arrival of the Ministry's Minister YB Dato' Seri Shafie Apdal accompanied by (from left) YB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang, Encik Abdullah Embong (who heads the Kesejahteraan Rakyat of the Ministry of Rural of Regional Development)  is being greeted by YB Tuan Masir Kujat (in grey bush jacket), YB Datuk Francis Harden and YB Encik Mong Dagang.

The welcoming ceremony commenced as the YB Minister was presented with a pua kumbu coat with which was put on to be used for the official ceremony

Welcoming the Minister: The Minister was led along the ruai of the forteen doors of Rumah Noria

After the speeches, Tuai Rumah Noria was presented with a 'key' to symbolise the handing over of the longhouse

Tuai Rumah Noria presenting a souvenier ot YB Dato' Seri Shafie Apdal as a token of appreciation

Happy and thanking the Minister - YB Dato' Seri Shafie Apdal and the Deputy Chief Minister YB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu anak Numpang managed to mingle with the longhouse folks and children at the end of the ceremony

The ceremony went on well and the people of Rumah Noria were also excited about the additional financial assistance announced by the Minister which totaled to almost RM200,000 to upgrade the road to the longhouse. This also included the building of a compound around the longhouse which will assist in providing open space for residents to hold their activities. They are set to start life anew in their modern longhouse and I hope that this form of assistance can be extended to longhouses fire victims in the other parts of Sarawak.


cyrildason said…
Good to see the government giving assistance to the rural people in need.