Crown Prince tours Tutong, Belait floods
By Danial Norjidi

The flooding woes in the Tutong and Belait Districts came under royal scrutiny once again yesterday as His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, toured rural areas in the two districts hit by recent heavy rains.

As of yesterday, the total number of houses affected by the floods was 657, of which 74 houses are in Kg Benutan, 100 are in Kg Rambai, 49 in Kg Layong, 52 in Kg Kuala Ungar, 64 in Kg Ukong, 15 in Kg Long Mayan, 26 in Kg Merimbun, 120 in Kg Tanjong Maya, 46 in Kg Lubok Pulau, 41 in Kg Panchong and 70 in Kg Penapar.

Of the houses, one house in Kg Tanjong Maya and three houses in Kg Lubok Pulau have received aid in the form of sandbags, and all the house occupants have received food rations.

Accompanying the Crown Prince on tour yesterday was Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman, along with Deputy Minister Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi bin Hj Md Yusof as well as other high-ranking government officials.

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince began the visit with introductions to the penghulus and village heads of Rambai, Lamunin, Ukong and Tanjung Maya, before moving on to the Incident Command Post (ICP) at the Lamunin Fire Station, where he was briefed on the current situation of the flood-affected areas.

His Royal Highness then set off for Kg Layong, where he boarded a Royal Brunei Armed Forces airboat to assess the flooding in Kg Layong and Kg Ukong.

The Crown Prince then proceeded to travel by truck from Kg Ukong to Bukit Udal Primary School, where he then boarded a Blackhawk helicopter for an aerial assessment of the flooding in the district.

His Royal Highness then landed at Merangking Primary School in the Belait District, where he visited flood-hit areas in Pangkalan Sg Mau and Kg Bukit Puan.

The visit was later concluded at the Mukim Bukit Sawat Multi-purpose Hall.

The water levels of affected areas as at press-time yesterday are as follows: Jalan Bangkaru is at 0.30 metres, Jalan Kuala Ungar Rambai is at 0.15m, the Kg Layong and Kg Penapar main road is at 0.35m, Jalan Kecil Bukit Rampau is at 0.15m, Jalan Kecil Kampong Layong is at 0.90m, Jalan Menuju Penapar is at 0.45m, Jalan Kecil Lubok Pulau is at 0.31m and Jalan Lubok Meranti is at 0.35m.

Kampong Benutan, Simpang 4 going towards Kg Panchong and Jalan Melaboi are now dry. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd January 2011)