Mah Sing Foundation (MSF), in collaboration with Hopes Malaysia, contributed RM145,000 to five villages in Kota Belud through the Mega Scale Gravity Water Project to uplift the lives of the surrounding community.
The project aims to provide sustainable and clean water through gravity water system, which will then be utilised to support the villagers’ farming activities and basic daily needs.
The project was launched by Community Development Leader Saikom Watis, who represented Sabah Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick, accompanied by Foundation Chairman Datuk Indera Syed Norulzaman Syed Kamarulzaman and Hopes Malaysia Founder and Executive Director Sam Lee.
Syed Norulzaman said, “In line with MSF’s focus to improve the well-being of the surrounding community, the collaboration with Hopes Malaysia is aimed at elevating the livelihood of the community in Sabah.
“This is our second partnership with Hopes Malaysia, following the success of the Mushroom Cultivation Programme in 2018, which brought sustainable income to the villagers of Kampung Tudan.
“The success of the previous project has ushered in another meaningful collaboration with Hopes Malaysia for the Mega Scale Gravity Water Project. This project has brought sustainable water supply to five villages, impacting more than 3,400 individuals.
“For MSF, we believe that assisting the targeted community towards uplifting their livelihood will greatly benefit villagers’ children. This is in line with our aim to improve the wellbeing of children in need through community-based projects that create sustainable and long-term impact,” he said.
According to Lee, the villagers, who are mostly farmers and rubber tappers with income below the poverty line and are self-sustaining, lacked clean water as most of the villages in the district were not connected to public water supply system.
As a result, these villagers get water supply from rainwater, underground water or from a nearby river for their daily usage, hence getting the basic necessity is not convenient and sustainable.
The Kedamaian area where the supported villages are, is an area surrounded by hills, hence most of the villagers rely on gravity water system to channel water from upper stream river to the villages.
The five supported villages are Kampung Kaung, Kampung Terintinton, Kampung Bokilong, Kampung Lasau Podi and Pampung Podos.
The community of these villages are from the B40 group with an average monthly household income of below RM2,000.
The villages have existing gravity water system, which were mostly installed in the late 1970s made of PVC and metal pipes. Most of these pipes are in poor condition and in need of major upgrades.
Among the main issues faced by the community include leakage of pipes, particularly at the water catchment area which significantly reduces water supply and contributes to water wastage as well as pipes that are using PVC or rusted metal pipes.
“Clean water supply is a basic necessity that we believe everyone should be able to enjoy. Apart from providing them easy access to clean water supply, this project has also allowed us to look further into the improvement that we can do in these communities to deepen our social impact on their lives such as a social economic project that can uplift the livelihood of the communities in a sustainable way, ” added Lee.
The project took about three months to complete. With the completion of the project, approximately 425 households are able to access sustainable water supply, assisting three villages with its agriculture activities.
The access to water supply also reduced the average time spent travelling to-and-fro the water source which then provides the community with more time to focus on earning a living.