Villagers Relocated For Babagon Dam Seek Support To Rebuild CLC

Civil society members brainstorming about the needs of the Community Learning Centre (CLC) in Kampung Tampasak, Penampang, recently.

KOTA KINABALU: Relocated over 20 years ago to make way for the Babagon Dam, the community of Kampung Tampasak is seeking society’s support to rebuild their dilapidated Community Learning Centre (CLC).

Located about 20 minutes by road from Donggongon town along the Penampang-Tambunan road, villagers are hoping that water consumers who have benefitted from the construction of the dam are willing to give back to the community.

Tampasak villager Winnie Joannes said villagers had lost their ancestral lands and with that traditional livelihoods when they were forced to move in stages in 1994 and 1995.

“Our transition to the new site became more difficult when we realised that the homes we were allocated were very small and narrow and that the facilities that were promised were not there. A CLC was built with help from the Canadian International Development Agency and external parties but is now dilapidated.

Civil society is hoping to raise over RM200,000 to repair a Community Learning Centre (CLC) in Kampung Tampasak, Penampang.

“We use this CLC for community gatherings, trainings and workshops including on livelihoods and it is also space to educate young people on some of the skills they need. It is also used for cultural events and to house guests,” she said.

The idea for water consumers in Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Penampang to give back to the community was first brought upon an event in September last year when civil society through Forever Sabah, Land Empowerment Animals Peoples (LEAP), Partners for Community Organisations (PACOS Trust) and Good Shepherd Services gathered at the village along with several members of the public to hear from the villagers on what they had gone through.

Winnie said following the event the community further discussed the idea of seeking support to repair the CLC, a focal point for villagers.

This saw organisations from within the village – Tinimungan Mororobuat, Tampasak Eco Camp, TAGAL Tampasak, Village Security and Development Community (JKKK Kg Tampasak) and TATABA Tumoku joining hands with Arkitrek, Forever Sabah, Raleigh Sabah and PACOS Trust to go to the drawing board to rebuild the CLC.

Based on repairs needed the grouping has to raise RM208,386 to rebuild the main hall, upper floor rooms, kitchen, community administration office, toilets and shower stalls.

Tampasak villagers were displaced over two decades ago to make way for the Babagon Dam but did not receive facilities that they were promised. The current Community Learning Centre (CLC) was built with funds from external parties and is now in need of repairs.

“Working with Arkitrek, we are hoping that to make this new CLC an environmentally-friendly building, one that is able to collect rain water, for example. They have also come up with a design and floor plan.

“Judging from the condition of the current building, soon we will not be able to use it. Time is not on our side and we appeal to water consumers who have benefitted from the Babagon Dam to assist us to rebuild this CLC with us,” she said in a statement after the grouping’s recent meeting.

Winnie said villagers who did not own land titles were only compensated for their crops when they had to move, while those who had the document were compensated for both their land and crops.

However, a majority of villagers did not own land titles and there is one case of a villager, Jukin Gintan not receiving compensation over 20 years on.

“When they were relocated, they were not given alternative livelihood options, making it difficult for them to make ends meet.

“This is in the past and while we continue to ask for what was promised, we know this will take a long time. We cannot wait for the authorities to complete their pledge and we have to move forward with our own plan, including in rebuilding the CLC,’’ she said.

For those who wish to assist, please contact Winnie (013-8847202), Winnie Sundang (010-9820508), Mickson Banus (014-6382866), Philip Pius (017-8137481) or Nelson Malon (013-5411808).