Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Bengoh folks are helping themselves-you can also chip in!

Since the Bengoh dam started to trouble the residents there the folks are anxiously considering their options for the future.
The government's option:Move to Kampong Semadang, some 60km away, promised with schools, free house, supply of electricity ans water. However after the dam is complated, short of only impoundment the resettlement site is only starting the earth work, few years behind schedule. Unkept promises in other resettlement areas also unsettle the residents; Agreeing to move to Kg Semabdang also mean giving up their ancestral land in exchange for a 3-acre per family land;

The local option: move to higher ground than the dam so that they can still retain their NCR land and may take advantage of the tourism that may develop around the dam; This plan may clash with other parties who want to take over the land for their own tourism projects; Kg Semban is partially affected by the dam and yet they are required to leave-showing the land grab intention behind the resettlement.

Some residents had already started constructing their new settlements at their own cost; they welcome the sympathetic public to chip for some of the costs; For them they most likely will miss out any compensation from the government;

Option from the law: sue the state government for wrongfully taking away their NCR land protected by the Constitution. This has been filed by a number of residents and awaiting hearing at the court in Kuching.

Our film crews visited the new settlement under construction and found a  brand new world on top of the hills:

Wow! Cool air!

Building new houses here!

A 2nd new village

The hard work to carry the planks up 1 by 1!

Kg Semadang-government's resettlement just start work!


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