Babagon villagers to get RM16.8mil concrete bridge in two years

KOTA KINABALU: Some 6,000 villagers from Kampung Timpangoh in Penampang can look forward to better access to the main road with the completion of a concrete bridge soon.

The RM16.8mil bridge will be built over the Babagon River that separates the villagers, mainly farmers whose main crops are lemongrass and galangal, from road access to Donggongon town.

Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick, who was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the bridge on Tuesday (July 18), said the 90m structure is expected to be completed within two years as set by the Public Works Department (JKR).

"This bridge is a highly anticipated infrastructure project for residents of the Babagon sub-district, particularly those who need to transport agricultural produce, commute to work, or take their children to school," he said.

The Upko president said that previously, villagers depended on a low-level crossing route in Babagon as the only way out.

“The bridge will become the main route for the villagers when completed.

"This government initiative is a valuable contribution to the local community, and I am optimistic that it will deliver substantial advantages to the residents, particularly in enhancing economic opportunities, education, and employment prospects," the Penampang MP added.

In another development, Benedick also encouraged farmers in the villages to form or join cooperatives for the sake of economic empowerment, social cohesion and sustainable development within the community.

"We have earmarked smaller-scale funds from the ministry for specific projects, including the RM300,000 upgrade of Tamu Babagon and construction of a RM200,000 Sunday school at one of the churches funded by the Penampang parliamentary office," he said.

Also present at the groundbreaking were Upko deputy president Datuk Donald Mojuntin, Penampang parliamentary liaison officer Bryan Matasing, Penampang district officer Francis Chong, and village head Monis A Gimbun, among others.

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