Project: 4.4 km GFW system in Amut, Pakan, Sarawak
Date: 6th – 14th Dec 2014
Number of people benefited: 35 families
Number of volunteers: 8
In Dec 2014, the Impian team constructed its water connectivity project that, for the first time ever, supplied water to two longhouses called Rh Awin and Rh Abi in the small area of Pakan, of Amut town, just a hour’s drive away from Sarikei. Yet unfortunately, these are two warring longhouses, one of which - Rh Abi - is led by a hostile headman who repeatedly refused and disagreed to have Impian connect the water supply through to his longhouse despite the other families within agreeing to have it (the water).
Petaling Jaya Utara MP YB Tony Pua and Serdang MP YB Ong Kian Ming had visited the two headmen but only one of the two was friendly towards them, not the other. Despite the strong objection received from this particular headman, who was wheelchair-bound and likely a recipient of government’s welfare, the team proceeded to enable water supply to Rh Awin that badly needed it, as well as to the rest of other pintus in the opposing longhouse of Rh Abi.
The headman’s selfish, uncaring act certainly does not bode well for his residents who had longed hungered for water. It is learnt that a police report was even lodged against Impian’s installation that was alleged to be without ‘permission’. In the end, those who wanted it helped with the gravity-fed system works that took about nine days to complete, including the building of a new dam.
The village is located on a 1.5 hour journey from Pakan town that is accessible on an ex-logging dirt road. With no water access, some of the pintus were equipped without bathrooms, so the villagers had to resort to bathing in the river. The rainwater also became the only source for drinking for the folks. The entire project, costing RM30,000, was funded by a private sponsor.
After nine days, water was finally connected into all the pintus for the longhouses, except for the two opposing pintus, one which belongs to the headman and the other to his daughter.