KUCHING: The Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry is gearing up for the monsoon season with well-stocked front bases and a large depot.

Its minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said that on November 25, her ministry checked the depot in Samarahan and found it had been stocked with necessities such as mattresses, blankets, and health kits.

Fatimah Abdullah

“We have a total of 17 front bases — in Kuching, Bintulu, Kapit, and Miri,” she said during a press conference following the One Stop Teenage Pregnancy Committee (OSTPC) meeting at the Baitulmakmur Building here yesterday.

“Our front bases have been supplied with basic food requirements such as rice, coffee, tea, sugar, dry biscuits, instant noodles, and tinned food,” she said.

Fatimah explained that front bases had been set up to ensure that timely aid for flood victims, especially in the rural areas with limited access, could be provided. 

She said for urban areas such as Kuching where logistics were less of an issue, suppliers would send food to the flood evacuation centres.

“We have also prepared counsellors as we know that those in the relief centres, especially the elderly, may feel stressed,” she said.

“Health examinations will also be carried out by the State Health Department,” she said.

Fatimah added that activities would be organised to keep the children entertained.

“We want to fill their time at the relief centres with beneficial activities such as reading and drawing.”

She emphasised that flood relief was jointly provided by agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) helping with logistics.

“We also work together with the Disaster Management Committee,” she said.

Fatimah said the Welfare Department staff had been told to prepare for deployment to other areas which were short of manpower.

Providing more information on the Samarahan depot, Fatimah said that the project commenced on July 28, 2017 and was completed on February 20 this year.

“It is valued at RM5,780,480 and measures 18 metres by 69.5 metres,” she said.

She also urged parents to monitor their children closely during the monsoon season to avoid accidents and unwanted incidents.