National housing projects back on track, says Brunei Minister

Image from Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jan 23 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Construction at National Housing Schemes (RPN) have resumed smoothly after issues of workers being infected with Covid-19 occurred last year, said Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Suhaimi Gafar.

During a working visit to the RPN Kampong Lugu Phase II construction site, the minister said construction of 1,000 units of houses for RPN Kampong Lugu, is scheduled to be completed by year’s end or early 2023.

The minister also said another project being monitored is construction of infrastructure for a nearby site where 86 hectares of land will accommodate around 500 to 600 housing units.

The minister said one of the matters needed to be observed is ensuring the construction company and its workers to comply with the regulations and standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“What is important is the need for the relevant party to ensure the safety and hygiene of the workers’ accommodation and their well-being looked after to avoid any new cases as it had happened last year where more than 300 workers were infected,” he said.

He reiterated that the ministry will monitor and ensure that workers are provided a suitable housing to control and prevent from the spread of the virus.

“The ministry has issued guidelines as part of the Covid-19 preventive measures, particularly for the construction industry, and contractors and construction companies are required to observe these guidelines,” said the minister.

Among the guidelines are: ensuring workers and visitors must have at least two doses of vaccination, conduct rapid Covid-19 testing once every two weeks and always practise social distancing at the project site or at their accommodation.

Awang also visited several project sites under the 11th National Development Plan carried out by the Housing Development Department and Public Works Department of the Ministry of Development (MoD).

The minister visited the temporary staff quarters, accommodating 363 workers for the RPN Kampong Lugu Phase II construction site.

He also visited the isolation block provided during the Covid-19 second wave outbreak last year for workers who have symptoms of the virus and are not allowed to work.

Other housing projects conducted by the Housing Development Department have also resumed works, including 750 units of terrace houses at the RPN Kampong Tanah Jambu Phase 7 which is currently under the tender assessment process and the upgrading project and 140 unit of terrace houses in RPN Kampong Rimba scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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