KOTA BELUD: Minah Sogindol is used to seeing nothing or just drips of water coming out of the tap in her house when she turns it on.
As a result, for a long time, she and some 1,000 villagers in Kampung Podos depended on the water from a stream nearby.
Today, though, she was able to turn the on tap and see water gushing out like it's meant to be, thanks to upgrading efforts by non-governmental organisation Hopes Malaysia funded by Star Foundation.
“There are 11 of us in the household, and before this, we did laundry, showering and other cleaning using the water from the river, saving any tap water – which usually comes on at night – for cooking and drinking.
“Now we do not use any river water,” said the 53-year-old farmer with nine children aged between 14 and 34, during the launch of the water pipe system upgrade at the village on Thursday evening (Oct 31), where Star Media Group (SMG) chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow and Sabah bureau chief Datuk Muguntan Vanar were present.
Previously, it was reported that the Foundation channelled RM42,000 to Hopes Malaysia to finance the upgrading project involving a 5km-long water pipe to a quarry catchment at the village, located 50 minutes away from Kota Belud.
Village chief Soumin Sadah, 49, said the original piping system that connected to the water catchment area was built in the 1980s, but it could no longer sustain the needs of 1,015 org residents in 120 houses, especially with leakages issue along the pipes.
“So most of us are affected by water shortage, especially during peak hours in the morning and evening.
“Since the pipe size was too small, the suggestion was to get bigger, brand new pipes.
“Since the project was completed a couple of months ago, we no longer have a water shortage problem,” he said during the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Fu expressed satisfaction that the project had resulted in clean tap water to the villagers.
He said Star Foundation, the charitable arm of SMG, had supported various agencies and NGOs to help those in need.
"In Sabah, we also helped with a water project in Kundasang, Ranau after the earthquake there few years ago.
"We hope access to piped water will improve the standards of living of the Kampung Podos folks," he added.
Hopes Malaysia founder Sam Lee and co-founder June Wong said about 20 volunteers, as well as villagers, participated in the upgrading project which commenced in July and took less than two months to complete.
Hopes Malaysia, which is based in Sabah, focuses on community development projects to meet the basic needs of underprivileged rural communities.
“In the near future, we aim to help Kampung Podos villagers, just like in our other projects, in marketing their agricultural products and connecting them with hotels or food-and-beverage clients in Kota Kinabalu or nearby towns,” said Wong, adding that this was still in the planning stage.
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful