via New Straits Times, 06 November 2019: Sarawak’s wooden longhouses are a heritage treasure, but are susceptible to fire. This is also a good opportunity to mention the Disaster Risk Management resources page.
FOR more than a century, longhouses have been a ubiquitous feature of Sarawak’s landscape, housing a union of family and culture within their walls.
These wooden structures, usually nestled deep within the state’s vast interior, with some requiring days of road travel to access, symbolise the Dayak people’s unique identity and their love of communal living.
However, the longhouses have come under threat. Fires in longhouses have become more frequent, resulting in losses running into millions of ringgit.
There is also an incalculable heritage cost involved.
When a longhouse burns down, a modern replacement takes its place, sacrificing the traditional wooden designs.