News: RM70mil needed to face El Nino

3 Jun 2014, The Star

MALACCA: The Fire and Rescue Department requires an additional RM70mil budget allocation to purchase equipment and improvise logistics to face the El Ninophenomenon.

The department’s director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said the application for supplementary allocation had already been submitted to the Federal Government.

“This is our part to prepare for any contingencies during the phenomenon which is anticipated to hit South-East Asian nations anytime now,” he said after witnessing the handover of duties of Pahang fire and rescue department’s deputy director Nazili Mahmood who was promoted to state department director.

Nazili replaces Zainuddin Md Alip who was transferred to the Planning and Research Department in the department’s headquarters in Putrajaya.

Wan Mohd Nor said the additional fund was warranted as the department forecasts more forest and bush fires to occur during this period and the operations of dousing such fires required special and latest gadgets.

He also noted that the department has garnered the shortcomings faced by its personnel, especially on the logistic aspect during the recent drought season where 15,000 fires were managed during a three-months period.

Wan Mohd Nor said the department is planning to procure mobile pumps, multipurpose and off-road trucks if the additional allocation was approved.

He added that the department would outline a standard operational procedure with other voluntary bodies in case the need arises to effectively douse bush fires, especially in peat areas during the phenomenon.