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Seven villages in Sugut Beluran still waiting for road

12th July, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: More than 2,000 people from seven villages in Sugut Beluran are urging the new government to expedite the construction of an 18km stretch of road which has been pending since 2012.

A representative from Kg. Mangkasulap, Erik Elli made the call stating that the villagers have been very patient and have suffered long enough.

Any action has yet to be seen, despite many attempts to approach the related parties.

“As chairman of Mangkasulap JKKK (Village Security and Development Committee), I urge the government to hasten the construction because villagers should no longer have to bear this misery.

“I was made to understand that this project has been listed in KKLW (Ministry of Rural and Regional Development) since 2012 but nothing has been done until now,” he said to New Sabah Times.

The 18km stretch should connect seven villages – Mangkasulap, Nakadong, Tagapalang, Minsusurad, Mantub, Gouton, Waigon – to the nearest road access at Kg. Gana in the Kota Marudu district.

It was first explored by a timber company in 1984, he explained, which had since become the villagers main path to carry out routines that include a total 16-hour walk to schools and hospital.

“This is the main path to the nearest (access). Kota Marudu town to Kg. Gana is 36km; from there, we park our cars and continue on foot to the villages (18km to Mangkasulap).

“These trips take up to 8 hours or more, so imagine, if us villagers were to run out of daily necessities, we would have to go to Gana (and back) which would take 16 hours of walking; isn’t that miserable?”

He added that the people even spent long hours of walking to the village during the recent general election to fulfil their duties.

Apart from being a hindrance to villagers, the unavailability of road access has also impeded development in the area, and very often prevents those working in the agriculture sector – mostly farmers and rubber tappers – from delivering their crops on time.

According to Erik, this has forced some of them to move to bigger towns and cities as no one wants to be ‘left for dead’.

“As villagers become increasingly tired of waiting for this road, they eventually decide to move out for the time being; imagine the difficulty, who would want to stay and wait to die there?

“I could say that the people are dying because children can not go to school, the sick can not be transported and crops can not be delivered.

“Even doctors have stopped delivering medications to the villages.”

He said with proper road access, the people’s lives would be much easier and those who have already moved out would return to their lands and properties in the villages.

Hence, he urged immediate action from the people’s representatives in order to help the people and for the new government to stay true to their ‘Sabah Ubah’ slogan.

“Nothing was done by the previous government despite being in power for 60 years. I hope that the new government will.

“I want them to keep their promise to change Sabah; help those in critical need and ‘rescue the drowning’. Save the people, please.” – By DK Ryni Qareena

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