SRI AMAN: Most rural villagers in Lingga still depend on the Batang Lupar and its tributaries to supplement their livelihoods.
Ketua Kampung Kedang Nari of Kpg Banting, who was in Lingga to get his daily provisions, told The Borneo Post Adventure Team (BAT) that locals now catch river prawns because the ikan terubok had virtually disappeared.
“Prawns are still plentiful but they must know the water conditions and the tide to have a better catch for the day,” he said.
Most villagers were padi planters because rice grows very well along the river.
They also relied on rubber, which was now the main focus due to its good price.
Kedang said there was a great need for road connectivity to be improved in the area so that locals need not rely on the river for transportation.
He cited the recent case of a pregnant woman who died along with her unborn child because the boat she was travelling in to the local clinic capsized.
“We want the government to see our plight as the river is a bit dangerous now since it is also infested by crocodiles,” he lamented.
“I am pleading for the government to realise our needs as that incident with the pregnant woman should not have happened at all.”
Kedang became Kpg Banting headman 11 years ago when he took over from his father-in-law.