BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Five students from Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli) will be heading to Wakayama, Japan for a student-led summit to mark World Tsunami Awareness Day.

From October 31 to November 1, the students will be among 450 participants from 48 countries, learning about disaster preparedness.

“Brunei is very lucky not to experience any natural disasters, typhoons, earthquakes or landslides. I hope nothing will happen in the future but we can never know for sure,” Japanese ambassador Motohiko Kato said.

He added that the summit was a chance for the students to learn from Japan and other countries about how to deal with impact of natural disasters, such as coping with food shortages, power outages, and how to assist the elderly and disabled in disaster situations.

Kato said as the world grapples with climate change, it’s important for youth to be equipped with relevant knowledge

“[When they] come back to Brunei, [I urge them] to share information not just to their school but to schools nationwide. I hope what they learn in Japan will encourage them to think about important emergency procedures.”

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Motohiko Kato (C) speaking to students from Maktab Duli. Photo: Rafidah Hamit/The Scoop

He also encouraged the students to take the opportunity to learn about waste management during their visit.

“Japan is very clean and we make sure to throw away rubbish. Young people have taken the initiative to make our streets clean, so I do hope the students will learn more from us on this matter.”

Maktab Duli teacher, Hjh Lenny Hj Othaman said they were grateful for the opportunity to learn from various participating countries.

“We are less prepared in terms of natural disasters and action plans. Therefore I really hope we can bring back knowledge particularly to educate younger children on survival skills.”

One of the students Dk Noor Amal Shahirah Hazerah Pg A’malluddin Shah aims to learn more about Japan’s advanced technology.

“By learning more about this, we can hopefully apply it to Brunei and use it as an advantage to help us overcome natural disasters.”

Another student Hjh Maziyatul Wajihah Hj Ramlee said she was looking forward to network with other participants.

“I’m excited to exchange ideas and opinions as well as have informative discussions with the other delegates.”

The resolution to designate November 5 as “World Tsunami Awareness Day”  was jointly proposed by 142 countries including Japan, was adopted by consensus at the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015.

The resolution aims to deepen international understanding of the threat of tsunamis and to raise awareness about precautionary precautionary measures.