Family living in dilapidated house tied to trees to get new residence

The house currently occupied by 61-year-old Subli Bungah and 50-year-old Dusun Beniau, in Kampung Merangking. Picture: BT/Chua Guan Cheong

Thursday, December 23, 2010

THE Belait District Office will be building a new house for a family in Kampung Merangking to replace their now old, and hazardous wooden house in danger of collapsing.

The dilapidated wooden house has to be tied to nearby trees to prevent the house from crashing down.

Information provided by the district office placed the cost of the house to be more than $40,000, with $30,000 provided by the Department of Community Development (Japem), another $12,000 contributed by private companies.

The Belait district office is acting as a consultant to the construction of the house, and the Belait District Charity Fund is coordinating details like the title of the land, electricity wiring and other issues.

Belait District Officer Matusin Orang Kaya Sura Hj Tuba said construction of the house, to be built on a three-acre land with Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL), would begin on Jan uary 7 next year, and the structure would include four bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, toilet and bathroom. The present house is occupied by Subli Bungah, 61, who is receiving old age pension of $250 per month, and his wife, 50-year-old Dusun Beniau. The couple has a total of 16 children, three of whom has their own place to stay.

Their eldest child, a 30-year-old lady, is married and currently lives in Bandar Seri Begawan working as a cleaner for a private company. Their second, a son, is unmarried and serves as a soldier in the Third Battalion of the Royal Brunei Land Forces (RBLF). Their third, a daughter, is married and lives in the village as well.

Their other children still lives with them, five are still studying, two in secondary school and three in primary.

Their youngest child is six years old, and the rest of the children are neither working nor studying.

According to Beniau, their home which they have stayed in for 25 years will be filled with children and grandchildren and will house 21 people altogether during the school holidays.

She also said that as they have no means to build a new house, her husband had to tie their house to trees nearby to prevent the house from collapsing.

Like some other residents in Merangking, the family is also living without direct power supply to the house, and relies on a generator to satisfy their electrical requirement.

The house was built on the land of Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) covering three acres. The Brunei Times