Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Timely gift for 25 families

KOTA KINABALU: For 25 families in Kg Minikodong, they will indeed be home for Christmas.

After three years of waiting, they finally have a place of their own in the interiors of Matunggong, off Kudat district.

The villagers have been living in a traditional wooden longhouse prior to getting the keys to their new brick homes which comes with basic amenities such as electricity and water supply.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili presented the keys and letters of occupancy to them on Saturday.

One of the recipients, Jasiah Ganang, 34, said she planned to move in on Christmas Day.

“It is truly a Christmas gift for all the affected villagers. We are thankful to finally have a nice and comfortable place to stay,” she said.

While waiting for the completion of the longhouse, the villagers lived in temporary huts provided by the Welfare Department.

“It was bare minimum and the roof leaked when it rained. My children can’t wait to move into our new home,” said the mother of five.

Ongkili said he was told that the villagers lost their homes in a fire on July 7, 2012.

The Federal Government then gave the approval for the rebuilding of a new longhouse, he said.

“However, the authorities decided to open tender for the project and the pro­cess took time,” he added.

Subsequently, the tender was given to a contractor who was not from the area and thus unfamiliar with the local situation, he said, citing the difficulties in accessing the road leading to the village.

“The road condition, which worsens during the rainy season, delayed the project further,” he added.

Ongkili said the lack of good road access had impacted the socio-economic status of the villagers who were unable to develop their land for agriculture as their produce could not be transported.

Their livelihood would improve if the problem was solved, he added.

Earlier in his speech, Ongkili said villagers should take advantage of the Federal Govern­ment’s RM20mil interest-free loans for the con­­struction of longhouses in Sabah next year.

He suggested that villagers, especially the young working adults, apply for the loans.

Kg Minikodong, he said, was the 18th longhouse in Matunggong that had been rebuilt and launched.

 

Source - The Star