Prince graces Asean Day for Disaster Management
Hakim Hayat

HIS Royal Highness Prince ėAbdul Wakeel yesterday graced an event to commemorate the Asean Day for Disaster Management, a global celebration observed since 2005 and hosted by the Sultanate this year.

Accompanying His Royal Highness at the event held at the Times Square Shopping Complex in Berakas was Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

Welcoming Their Royal Highnesses upon arrival were Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, Minister of Home Affairs; Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs as well as the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) Director, Colonel (Rtd) Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Rosli bin Pengiran Haji Chuchu, who is also the Chairperson of the Asean Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM).

In a welcoming speech, the NDMC Director said it is a known fact that the region is vulnerable to all types of natural disasters and added, úIt is critical that we continue to take necessary measures to reduce the risks and impacts on our community. Ě

He said with the theme of the celebration this year Ė úPeoples of Asean, Step Up and Be Counted for Community Disaster Resilience! Resilience is for Life! Ě Ė knowledge on disaster risk management is brought closer to the local community.

Through this celebration and similar events like today, our communities can become familiar with their roles as front liners in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, as well as the longer term recovery and rehabilitation efforts, Ě he added.

At the event, His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Wakeel presented prizes to winners of a number of competitions organised throughout the observance of Asean Day for Disaster Management and also launched an exhibition gallery.

Arifah Najiah binti Md Haslan from Sungai Tali Primary School, Lumut won the first place in the poster drawing competition while Nur Fatin Amirah Hj Mohd Jamali from Tumpuan Telisai Primary School, Tutong and Abd Muhaimin bin Mohd from Sungai Tali Primary School won the second and third place respectively. The poster drawing competition themed úCommunity Resilience Ě received an encouraging response from school pupils nationwide aged between eight and 12 years.

In the Asean letter writing competition, Siti Adriana Syazwina binti Hazli won the Under-12 years Category and Mujayanah Hurolain Ahmad Arawi was the winner in the 13 to 18 year category. In this competition organised by the NDMC, participants were required to write to the Asean Secretary-General by expressing their views and ideas on enhancing the Asean community ôs resilience in disasters. Both winners received cash prize of B$300, a certificate and a reply letter from the Asean Secretary-General.

In the úSearch for Asean Champions for Community Resilience Ě competition, Paul Chiew Yun Choi from Brunei, Muhammad Jawad from Indonesia, Erwin Dela Rama from the Philippines and Boonpeng In Kaew from Thailand were identified as champions of their respective countries. These individuals were chosen and recognised for their efforts in building community resilience in the face of disasters. Each of them received a cash prize of US$1,000, a certificate and a trophy.

Meanwhile, in the colouring competition, Mohammad Ziman Hayat won the first place, followed by Md Rahiman bin Affendi and Miza Hamizah Qistina Mazlan in second and third place. The colouring competition was open to primary school pupils aged eight to 12 years.

Their Royal Highnesses later toured the exhibition gallery at the Atrium of the Times Square Shopping Complex, which features among others the works of recipients of the úAsean Champion for Community Resilience Ě; artworks from the poster drawing and colouring competitions; letters received for the Asean letter writing competition as well as an exhibition put up by the NDMC, Fire and Rescue Department, Asean Secretariat, Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) Centre and the Humanitarian Emergency Aid Response team (HEART).

His Royal Highness Prince ėAbdul Wakeel received a ėpesambah ô and later took a group photo with the winners of the competitions.

According to a press release from the NDMC, the Asean Day for Disaster Management is celebrated to create and increase public awareness on the importance of disaster-risk minimisation initiatives in their daily lives. Since 2005, Asean has observed this global celebration. Each year, its member countries carry out numerous activities at the national level to support this annual public outreach event. - Borneo Bulletin (13 October 2014)