Thursday, 13 August 2009


by Ed Ptilidi

Residents of Kampung Pinapak in Pitas District can now enjoy clean water right on their doorstep as a result of a newly-formed partnership project between Raleigh, PACOS Trust and Sabah-based Asian Forestry Company (AFC).

The project, started in July as part of Raleigh Borneo’s latest expedition, employed a team of local and international volunteers to build a gravity water-feed system, using a natural water source to bring water direct to the village.

In just under six weeks, the team have built a water dam, set up two 400 litre water tanks, and laid two kilometers of water pipes through the jungle to the village. the start of rainy season.

Alpha 2, phase 1: lots of hard foundation work was put in by these guys at the start.

They have then installed the necessary plumbing to ensure water flowing to the school’s sinks and toilet, as well as several water taps throughout the kampung.

The project was the first of several projects that AFC have planned for other kampungs in the areas where the company operates.

At the official opening ceremony in Pinapak on August 13, Raleigh Borneo Country Director Jim Clements highlighted the importance of the pilot Pinapak project for the future partnership success between Raleigh Borneo and AFC.

“We are very privileged to be involved in these projects, and value AFC’s support for our project teams tremendously.

“Not only do the residents of Pinapak have constant, clean water supply, but our volunteers have learned a great deal from living and working here about the culture and way of life in Sabah,” Mr Clements said.

“It is great to be part of this success, and we look forward to many more successful projects between Raleigh and AFC in the future.”

AFC Managing Director Graeme Brown said the company felt that access to clean water was an important quality and one that was identified as a highest priority by the people of Kampung Pinapak.

Back in March, a planning meeting was held between AFC, PACOS Trust and Pinapak’s residents to identify the community’s priorities.

“By working together with the community and our partners, hundreds of people have benefited as part of our overall community development program for the region,” Mr Brown said.

“Close support was given by Pitas District Office and the village communities headed by their Ketuas Kampong KK Rashid of Pinapak and KK Kalawit of Maliau Pusat who worked tirelessly to make this project successful.

AFC’s Head of Community Drew Boshell played a major role in coordinating this maiden project that will benefit 200 school children of Sekolah Rendah Pinapak and around 70 people living in both Kampong Pinapak and Kampong Maliau Pusat,” Mr Brown said.

Alpha 2 perform a traditional Malay dance with some of the school staff during the ceremony.

AFC has also embarked on planting fruit trees in Maliau Pusat where the gravity feed is located to beautify, conserve, and educate the communities to protect waterways as part of AFC’s CSR attributes for sustainable environment protection.

Apart from completing the water supply system, the volunteers have managed to carve out a place for themselves in the Pinapak community during the past few weeks.

In limited spare time, the team have given English lessons at the Pinapak school, played numerous soccer games with a team of local enthusiasts, have been on homestay, and even attended a traditional wedding ceremony in a nearby kampung.

Raleigh volunteer managers Bobby Rebeiro and Tony Adamson, who have led the project team from start to finish, say they have been absolutely amazed with the warm welcome the team have received from Pinapak’s residents.

“It’s just been amazing how welcoming they [the residents] have been to us. It’s a significant project in terms of building the water feed and also establishing the partnerships.

We would like to thank Kampung Pinapak for accepting us and for helping us complete the project,” they said.

PMs Bobby Rebeiro and Tony Adamson rightfully wash their hads after a job well done by the "Golden Tap".

The opening was attended by many distinguished guests and officials. During the event, the volunteers and some of Pinapak school students performed a play to tell the story of the gravity water system.


* Over 2 km of pipe was laid and connected
* 16 water points taps were installed throughout the community of Pinapak and Maliau Pusat.
* The only community toilets were cleaned, reopened, and reconnected with water.
* A hand-washing basin with three taps was constructed next to the toilets
* All teachers had their houses connected to the piped water
* Raleigh contributed 22 volunteers to the project and PACOS provided 2-3 technical staff
* Volunteer support for project provided by the community
* Extra-curricular activities included English lessons, Community Clean-Up day, football tournament
* 82 fruit trees were donated and planted by Raleigh and community in the watershed (contributed by US Org – People Planet Partnership)
* 200 more indigenous trees to be donated and planted at the start of rainy season

Going loopy again

by Dee Siddiqui

The phase 2 loop left last week to check on the progress of the Alpha groups and to bring the post and all important snacks and sweets for PM's and venturers alike.

Amy, Niall and Dee set out to brave the scorching heat at the beautiful seaside kampong of Mapan Mapan along with Kristen - a visitor from Raleigh Bermuda.

Alpha 1 continue to make great progress on the kindergarten project. Helped along by a special appearence by 09H (5 weeker) PM Karl, who agreed to leave his gravity water project at Alpha 7 to lend his carpentary skills to Alpha 1 for 5 days. The whole of Alpha 1 in particular really appreciated Karl helping out.

The building is coming along well. Currently, the wall posts are all up and the floorboards are being laid, prior to the roofing being fixed.

09H PM and carpenter Karl came, 'saw', and left.

As well as being updated on the progress on the project and helping out moving wood and banging nails into belian posts, the loop were provided with a seafood treat of fresh prawns and coconut rice for dinner served generously by Julian and Tess.

Alpha 1 certainly win the prize for the earliest starters in 09E. at 5.30 the next morning, the group woke up, ready to start working from 6am. In this way, they manage to work for a few hours before the afternoon heat kicks in. So when the loop set off at 7am, the team were already hard at it moving wood up to the kindergarten site.

'Wood' you believe how early Alpha 1 start work?

Next stop for the loopsters was Kg Pinapak to see how Alpha 2 have been getting on with their project to supply water to the community.

The team were also working very hard having completed piping into the community toilets, building a sink and installing standpipes around the kampong.

On top of all that, they have made time to teach English in the local school, learn malay from the children and round off the day with a game of football with the locals before heading off to the river to bathe in before longs o'clock (6pm).

Pipes are 'knot' a problem for Kat and Tony

This is James and Phil - not Doug

Anna, unwinding

It is clear that Alpha 2 have established themselves well in the community and the children in particular enjoy interaction with the venturers. The project is close to its completion now and last night, we were given the good news that the first gerry can of water had been successfully filled from the new standpipes. Congratulations!

Today is the opening ceremony for the project and Country Director Jim has travelled to Pinapak with a host of guests and the media to celebrate this achievement.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Britain's ex-PM meets Alpha 4!

by PM Ruth Taylor
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Alpha 4 is always an eventful place to be, but when we heard a VIP was coming to visit the BSBCC (Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre), arriving by helicopter for a flying visit, everyone was quite excited. Guesses as to who it might be ranged from the King of Malaysia, through to Bono and Gordon Brown.
In the end, the latter was the closest as Tony Blair and his family were the special guests. The visit by the British ex-premier was obviously a big deal for the BSBCC, as such a high profile visitor was bound to pique interest in the media in Sabah and around the world about the sun bears and the incredible centre Raleigh groups are helping to build.

The Blair family's trip to Sepilok coincided with alpha 4's first full day working at the centre, clearing the area along the fence's perimeter. Tony, Cherie, son Leo and their party came to see the bears around lunchtime and spent a while looking at the bears and listening to a talk about them, their plight, and the centre from the passionate head bear keeper Wai Pak. We were introduced and chatted to the Blairs about Raleigh's work in Borneo, compared leech stories with the nine-year-old Leo, who seemed very taken with the beautiful bear.

Hopefully this visit will open the eyes of more people to the endangered, gorgeous sun bear, and as Cherie Blair said wisely, help remind people of why big, wild animals should not be kept as pets, even in their home countries. Alpha 4 certainly enjoyed the visit, and maybe Leo will be a venturer in Borneo in 10 years!