Project: Jalan Impian Amuno, Pitas, Sabah
Date: March – April 2015
Number of people benefited: 500 families
A dream realised by the construction of a much-needed road in one of the poorest and most underdeveloped areas in Sabah.
For years, the villagers of Jalan Impian Amuno in Pitas, Sabah begged the government for a proper access road. For years, the government promised to provide one, tantalising the possibility in their faces. Years passed, but the road was nowhere to be found.
In Aug 1999, the government had reportedly declared it would build a 13km-long Pitas-Pandan-Pinapak road that, if completed, would link the villages of Kampung Dowokon, Kampung Kobon, Kampung Perupok, Kampung Maliau Pusat, and Kampung Maliau Layung to Pitas town and be a great boon to some 3,000 villagers.
The road is sorely needed since Pitas, located about 185km north of Kota Kinabalu, ranks grimly as one of the poorest and most underdeveloped areas – not just state-wide, but in the country.
When the announcement was made, the villagers were delighted. For far too long, the villagers had to rely on Sungai Bengkoka to travel back and forth their village to town, since there was no accessibility by roads.
The river journey is time-consuming as it could drag on for several hours, depending on the water level. A year later in 2000, the government commenced with the road project as announced. However, just 2km into the construction of the gravel route, works discontinued. No reason or explanation was given for the stop-work order.
After being forced to wait in vain for fifteen long years, and driven to desperation by the government’s apathy, the villagers resolved that they would no longer depend on the government’s empty promises, and instead took matters into their own hands. The folks from six villages decided collectively to begin their own construction of some 7.5km length of the road. However, funds sadly ran out for these villagers and works had to be halted.
Then in October 2014, Impian Sabah came to know of the issue and plight of the villagers. On-site recce and investigation efforts were undertaken, which eventually led to the first phase of the road construction costing about RM33,000, funded by Impian Sabah.
After that was completed, Phase 2 of the project proceeded in March 2015 with the continued backing of Impian Sabah. Under this stage, culverts and drainage were installed. The weeks of sweat and hard labour finally culminated in tears of joy as the villagers now have a road to call their own. To perfectly reflect the villagers’ dream for an access road coming true, it was thus named Jalan Impian Amuno (which in their local Dusun language means, ‘a dream realised’).
The road was officially opened on May 9, 2015 by then-Sabah DAP Deputy Chairman (current Chairman) and Sandakan Member of Parliament Stephen Wong Tien Fatt.