SANDAKAN: Two more villages along Sabah’s Kinabatangan River inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kinabatangan-Corridor of Life Tourism Operators Association (KiTA) for the setting up of Tabung Ehsan.
The signing ceremony was held at the Sandakan Waterfront and witnessed by Sukau Community Development Leader (PPM) Amirudin Mohd Damit who represented Sukau Assemblyman Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman.
KiTA president Alexander Yee signed for KiTA while Kampung Abai was represented by its Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman Jahir Mastor and Village chief Jamal Ingau, and Kampung Sukau was inked by village chief Khalid Damit.
This brings the number of villages which signed the MoU with KiTA for the setting up of the special fund for the respective villages to four.
Kampung Bilit inked the MoU in July while Kampung Sungai Lokan signed earlier this year.
Under the MoU, KiTA members will contribute a conservation levy for every guest that stay at their respective accommodation facilities to the Tabung Ehsan.
The fund will be managed by the village chief and JKKK team to carry out activities such as cleaning of rivers, roads, jetties and recreation sites within their respective villages at the appropriate times, Yee said.
“Funds from Tabung Ehsan will also be used to organise sporting and social activities to foster closer relationships within the village and the tourism operators,” he added.
Yee expressed gratitude to the village officials for their willingness to work together with KiTA and Sukau asseblyman and the Sukau PPM Office for being supportive of programmes initiated by KiTA for the benefit of the villages.
Meanwhile, Amirudin welcomed the initiatives by KiTA in setting up the special fund for participating villages.
“We are supportive of such programmes as kampung folks can also benefit from the tourism activities within their own village. We hope more villages along the Kinabatangan River will take up the opportunity and work together with KiTA on this long term mutually beneficial relationship,” Amirudin added.
Amirudin said village officials entrusted with the responsibility of handling the fund to make good use of the money for village activities and to ensure it will benefit all kampung folks.