64 homeless people rescued as of February

Fatimah (second right) speaking at the press conference as (from left) Noriah, Dr Zufar and Dr Rashidah look on.

KUCHING: The Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development (KWKPK) has rescued 64 homeless people in 30 integrated operations conducted in Sarawak as of Feb this year.

Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said 26 cases were in Miri Division, 19 in Kuching, seven in Sibu, four in Samarahan, three each in Sarikei and Limbang, while Sri Aman and Bintulu recorded one each.

“Those who are survivors of movement control order (MCO) were placed in temporary transit centres such as Rumah Rehat Sri Rejang in Sibu and Dewan Lereng Bukit Miri and Rumah Temuai in Sarikei.

“We provide food, sleeping bags and personal hygiene kits to the survivors at the centres,” she said in a virtual press conference after chairing the first series of Coordination Meeting on Sarawak’s Homeless on Monday (March 1).

“Last year, we conducted 83 operations statewide with a record 237 homeless people rescued. Of these, 194 or 82 per cent were male while the remaining 43 cases or 18 per cent were female.

“Kuching Division recorded the highest number with 90 cases, followed by Bintulu (43), Sibu (41), Miri (21), Sri Aman (18), Sarikei (nine), Limbang (seven) while Kapit, Serian, Betong and Mukah recorded two cases each.”

Fatimah also noted that among the causes of homelessness were family problem, mental health problem, no shelter, alcohol and substance addiction, and unemployment.

Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Rashidah Bolhassan, Social Development Council executive secretary Dr Zufar Yadi Brendan Abdullah and Social Welfare Department director Noriah Ahmad.