Pensiangan: Lack of telecommunication services, transportation impede aid delivery

28 Sep 2023 10:15pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. – FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. – FILE PIX

NABAWAN - The lack of telecommunication services and disruption to the transportation system, in addition to road closures pose a formidable challenge to the authorities and volunteers in their effort to deliver food supplies to the remote area of Pensiangan, near here, following a landslide on Sept 5.

Forces of Love (FOL) chief Then Chun Tak said data collection on the affected residents’ needs was also very slow as it was done manually. He said volunteers of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) visited the affected villages using boats and walking to collect the data.

According to Then, their team is also forced to rely on the internet facility available at schools and health clinics to send information or travel to Pekan Pensiangan to get internet access.

"But this did not break our spirit to continue with the aid mission. The first delivery of 2.3 tonnes of food items was done by FOL and JBPM (Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department) using river routes which took about 18 hours of travel on Sept 12.

"The second delivery of 10.45 tonnes of food items including eight tonnes from the Social Welfare Department and 2.45 tonnes donated by FOL was done using helicopters belonging to JBPM and the police force yesterday (Sept 27),” he said when contacted.

Then said the food items such as rice, milk, biscuits and canned food were distributed to affected families in several remote villages including Kampung Kabu, Saliliran, Siatu, Simohong, Karampalon, Babayasing, Dobolon, Sibangali and Pengaraan.

It was reported that yesterday the Sabah JBPM, government agencies and NGOs conducted a mission to deliver food baskets using helicopters to about 500 residents in eight villages near Pensiangan after access to the villages was cut off due to the landslide.

Meanwhile, Pensiagan MP Datuk Arthur Kurup said the Nabawan District Office and Public Works Department had carried out immediate maintenance work on damaged roads.

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He said he had met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Sept 14 to present a report on the damages and an estimated cost for the necessary repairs, adding that Anwar had approved emergency aid for road maintenance and the construction of a new bridge.

"I will do my utmost best to expedite road repair works for the convenience of the people in the area. I thank those who have extended emergency assistance and welcome any parties who wish to contribute,” he said.

Those who wish to donate can contact Nabawan district officer Peter Jiton, who is also the District Disaster Committee chairman, he added. - BERNAMA