Lapok folk still relying on rainwater, ponds

Andrious pointing at the pond located behind his house which his family uses for bathing and cleaning.

BINTULU: The residents of Lapok are looking forward to the day they will finally have a clean water supply as they are still relying on rainwater and pond water for their daily needs.

Councillor Andrious Ding said all of the households and commercial centres in Lapok use rainwater for their consumption and manmade ponds for bathing and cleaning.

“The longhouses living along Sungai Tinjar will use the river as their water source but it is polluted and full of sediment,” he told Borneo Post Adventure Team (BAT) 7 last Saturday.

During a visit to Andrious’ manmade ponds which are located behind his house, we saw the water was greenish and murky.

He explained that most of the households in Lapok each have similar ponds used for bathing and cleaning, excavated with the help of nearby timber companies.

Some of the locals told BAT7 that they reckon their ponds are similar to pigs’ ponds because of their filthy conditions.

According to Andrious, the construction of the water treatment plant started about two years ago.

“We were told that once the water treatment plant is completed, we should have clean water supply by end of this year.

“What we hope now is there will be no delay in the construction as we cannot continue to live in this condition.”

Additionally, Andrious pointed out that once there is clean water supply for Lapok then the community will come together to conduct a major cleaning in town.

He said: “If you notice as you walk around town, the buildings here are dusty and dirty because of the lorries passing by from the logging roads.

“We cannot do many cleaning activities now because our water is dirty and cleaning only makes things worse.”

Meanwhile, Kampung Cina Lapok village security and development committee (JKKK) secretary Lily Sim said there is more room for development in Lapok town, especially in tourism.

“Lapok is the nearest town to Loagan Bunut National Park which is about 10km away. The town could be developed to cater to the visiting tourists at the park,” she said.

Located about 36km from Long Lama, most of the people in Lapok are Penan followed by Kayan, Berawan and Chinese.

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