KOTA MARUDU – Clean water is finally flowing in Kampung Patiu, a quite remote village here, following the installation recently of a gravity-fed water supply system, funded by PETRONAS.
The project which is part of PETRONAS’ corporate social investment initiatives in Sabah, was carried out under a community wellbeing and development programme called “Planting Tomorrow”.
The programme aims to improve the standards of living through the provision of basic needs as well as livelihood programmes in targeted areas.
“We used to walk more than an hour, carrying water containers, to collect water from the river,” said Hamzah Haruna, 35, Chairman of Kampung Patiu Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK).
“With this facility, water is now available within just a few steps from our homes.”
The water system is expected to help improve general health and hygiene through access to cleaner water for about 500 people in Kampung Patiu and the nearby Kampung Kapuk.
Similar facilities are currently being installed at Kampung Katud and Kampung Pulutan, also in Kota Marudu, as well as in Pitas that will provide water supply to seven villages in Pitas.
The gravity-fed water system in Kampung Patiu was installed in mid-January, the first to be completed under the project.
“I remember many of us were gathering around the tap to witness the first drop of water,” said Mailin Sandayan, a Kampung Patiu resident.
“At first we could only hear a hissing noise, and then the water came gushing out. And there we were, cheering as we sprayed ourselves with the fresh water.”
He recalled the days when villagers had to trek up and down the hill to collect water from the nearest river.
“Some of us used motorcycles to transport the water containers, which was faster, but came with fuel cost,” he added.
More than 5,000 metres of pipe were used for the system in Kampung Patiu. Water is distributed to eight different points, each serving about five homes.
“Planting Tomorrow”, which will be launched soon, is carried out in collaboration with Yayasan Sejahtera, a foundation set up to support two National Key Result Areas, namely raising the living standards of low-income households, and improving basic rural infrastructure.
Apart from the provision of water supply solution, the “Planting Tomorrow” programme also strives to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to 160 participating households in Pitas, Kota Marudu, and Tongod.