Residents in remote village clear road, fix bridges amid MCO

Residents of Kampung Sipuok in Pensiangan, Sabah, clear the road leading to their village.

KOTA KINABALU: It is said that no vehicle has entered Kampung Sipuok in the secluded region of Pensiangan for the last seven years. The nearest they got to was the nearby main road, Jalan Pensiangan.

The road leading to the village had been covered with dense vegetation, and two wooden bridges built by logging workers had partially collapsed.

So, despite the movement control order (MCO), several villagers decided recently to clear the road of the thick undergrowth and to repair the wooden bridges.

Village chief Samuel Indie said: “We tried to seek help from a logging company nearby to repair the 3km stretch of peat soil road, but nothing happened.

Kampung Sipuok residents repair one of the two wooden bridges that had partially collapsed.

“We also tried to register the road so the Public Works Department can include it in their maintenance schedule, but to no avail.

“So, instead of whiling away their hours, they decided to clear the road and repair the bridges.”

Asked if the villagers were putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus, Samuel told FMT there was hardly anyone driving in and out of Pensiangan these days except for timber trucks.

A resident, Andamin, said residents had faced difficulties getting out of the village in case of an emergency.

“There are no hospitals in Pensiangan. If someone is sick, the nearest clinic is in Nabawan, about 70km away. The nearest hospital is in Keningau, and Kota Kinabalu is about a six-hour drive from here,” he said.

He said that with the road cleared and the bridges repaired, it would be easier for the villagers to obtain healthcare services and essential items.

However, he said, when things returned to normal, the government should upgrade the roads and bridges in the area for the safety of the residents.