Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sun Bears on Wildlife Direct - 26th January 2010

Raleigh's work to help protect the Sun Bear has been recognised on the Wildlife Direct website. WildlifeDirect is a Kenya and US registered charitable organization founded and chaired by African conservationist Dr Richard Leakey. The website has been tracking the progress of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) a project that Raleigh is heavily involved with. Check out these links for stories on the building of the centre.

Allocations and Project Planning Visits - 26th January 2010

After months of anticipation and much nervous biting of finger nails the project managers have finally been allocated their projects for the next three months.  They will now work in groups of two or three to manage environmental, community and adventure projects all over Borneo.
Despite being relieved at discovering what they're going to be up to over the next three months PMs have not been given much time to reflect, as after only five days in country they have left field base to go out on project planning visits.  These visits are essential for investigating sites and meeting the local project partners crucial in ensuring the success of a project. Project managers also these visits drawing up evacuation plans, route cards and risk assessments. Volunteers will also draw up huge shopping lists detailing all the equipment and supplies they will need over the next three months. So let's meet the PMs and introduce the projects.  
First up the community projects;
Alpha 1 Kindergarten - Kampung Salit Paitan  Groups in Kampung Salit Paitan will be building a kindergarten from scratch. This new building will provide generations of children with the chance to gain the early literacy skills required to enter the school system.

 Project managers Laura Pickering and Ali Thackray 
Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 - Gravity Water Feed Systems 
Expedition 10A will install 3 gravity water feed systems, providing three villages with fresh running water.

Alpha 2 will work in Kampung Kopuron to give the community there a new water source. The group will install a new filter system that treats all water before it arrives into peoples homes, providing clean water straight from the tap. This is the first time this system has been tried in Sabah and it is hoped that this community could be used a model for future projects. Alpha 2 is being managed by Serge Neumand and Emily Carter.

Alpha 3 will work in three phases.  During phase one the team will build a new pipe network supplying water to the people of Kg Lingka Buguan 2. In phases two and three Raleigh will install a completely new water system in the village of Kg Vunui Locos. Project Managers Rachel Gower and David Lau are running these projects.
Next up the environmental projects; 
Alpha 4 Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre - Sepilok 

The Sun Bear is the smallest of the nine bear species in the world. The centre will raise awareness of the plight of the Sun Bear and allow for the rehabilitation of bears that have been kept in captivity or orphaned. Raleigh groups will be involved in a variety of work to help the bears be released into their new homes at the start of 2010.  Project Managers Ali Dalal, Sarah Pink and Donna Scanlan (from left to right) will be running this project.

Alpha 5 Bridge Foundations - Imbak Caynon 

Imbak Canyon is one of the last remaining untouched and relatively unexplored areas of Sabah. More people have been to Everest base camp, than have visited this virgin primary rainforest conservation area. The region is home to wildlife including elephants, orang-utans and hundreds of rare bird species.  This expedition will be based mainly around infrastructure development both at Rangers and BBC camp.  Recent expeditions have worked on the preparation for a second suspension bridge across the larger Imback River. This project will be managed by Eddie Boyle (2nd left) and Oonagh Hayes (far right). They will be joined by medics Nat Iliffe (far left) and Eleri Evans (2nd right) in phases one and two.

Alpha 6 MORF Reforestation project - Kampung Bawang Jamal, Kudat District 
MORF is a new conservation programme designed to actively pursue re-forestation through the collection, cultivation and replanting of forest trees in order to reclaim barren areas. This is a new project and Raleigh plans to build accommodation for future volunteers, a nursery to provide trees and to collect saplings from the local area.  Kate Hallam (left) and Eleni Coldrey (right) will mange this project.

Finally the adventure projects;
Alpha 7 and Alpha 8,Trekking and PADI Dive Course, Long Pa Sia and Mamutik These two teams will trek for 10 – 11 days in south western corner of Sabah on the Kalimantan and Sarawak border starting from the small village of Long Pasia carrying all their own supplies and equipment. Long Pasia is a very remote area and is steeped in tradition and folk lore.After the trek both groups will gain a PADI qualification before spending 1-2 days on a conservation programme at Tungku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Alpha 7-Project manager Ed Laschet (middle) will be joined by medic Sav Wijensingha (not pictured) on phase 1 medic Eleri Evans (left) on phase 2 and medic Kat Bush (right) on phase 3.
Alpha 8-Medic Nat Iliffe (left) will be joined by project manager Sam de La Haye(right) on phases 1 and 2 and project manger James McGovern (middle) on phase 3.  

Alpha 9,Trekking and PADI Dive Course, The Kiulu Valley, Crocker Mountain range and Mamutik, The third group will split their trekking across two sites either side of the diving section. The first five day trek will take place in the Kiulu valley in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. The second seven day trek takes place in the southern part of the Crocker Mountain range. In between these two treks the group will spend spend 3 to 4 days doing their PADI Open Water diving qualification followed by 1 to 2 days on an underwater clean up. Project manager Ali Parry (2nd left) will be joined by medic Emma Chapham (2nd right) on phase one, medic Cat Bush (right) on phase two and medic Eleri Evans (left) on phase three. 

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Jungle Training Camp -24th January 2010

The staff members of Expedition 10A are recovering after an intense three days of jungle training learning all the essential skills needed to survive in the rainforest. For the first day of training staff went to TAC (Traverse Activity Centre) for lessons from the jungle guides at Asia Ability on how to use a Parang (Malaysian machete), put up a hammock and set up a basher.  
Eleri using a Parang                                 Jungle cooking

Jungle guide Floyd                                                                              
Learning how to set up a hammock and basher
Staff were also shown how to cross a river safely, operate a radio and given lessons in basic first aid.
Crossing the river

Practising with throw ropes                                      
Learning how to use the HF radio. These are vital for Raleigh groups out on expedition. Sitreps are given to fieldbase on a daily basis so that groups can be tracked at all times. They are also used in case of emergency.
1st Aid Training
Swimming after a hard day's training

Expedition 10A was then split into different groups to put all these skills into practice on a trek into the jungle itself, which was tough going because of the recent rain.
Tango one

Tango two

Tango three

After a nervous night hoping that the hammocks and bashers they’d set up would hold out the trekking groups were given an unexpected practice session in Raleigh’s casualty evacuation procedure.

After successfully completing the procedure, teams made a final trek to a pick up point for buses to take them back to field base for some badly needed showers and allocations in the afternoon.