KOTA MARUDU: The residents of Kampung Gana now only take 30 minutes to reach the town, a trip which took hours by four-wheel-drive on a muddy track previously.

A 26km paved road was completed three years ago, providing better road access to the 3,000-odd residents to improve their standard of living, which was hindered by the lack of basic infrastructure in the past.

District officer Arnold Joibi said the government had also spent millions of ringgit to implement an agropolitan project, build a school and rural clinic to increase the income of the villagers, improve the economic development, education and healthcare here.

Kampung Gana is a settlement comprising 450 families from 10 villages previously located around the Lingkabau Forest Reserve and they were then relocated under the Gana Relocation Integrated Project in 1997.

Arnold said the agropolitan project involved a rubber planting scheme implemented by the Sabah Rubber Industry Board (SRIB) for some 150 families. Each family are given a house and a plot of land.

District officer Arnold Joibi says a rubber planting scheme is part of poverty eradication efforts undertaken by the government to enable villagers to lead better lives. BERNAMA PIC

He said the scheme was part of poverty eradication efforts undertaken by the government to enable villagers to lead better lives.

Housewife Lina Jalis, 34, said she was grateful for government efforts to ensure villagers, especially the younger generation, could enjoy the fruits of development by providing basic infrastructure, including electricity supply.

Lina said her two children also had access to education and they were studying at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Gana and the pre-school set up in the village.

“The SRIB also provides jobs to villagers. Many of the workers in the housing project are from the village,” she said.

Preschool teacher Honi Miaau said the preschool education in the village had helped ensure children were able to read, write and count before they enrolled in primary school.

“The government brought about many changes to the area, with the most significant is a better road access, especially to the school,” said Honi.

SK Gana headmaster Norbert Micheal Ligin said the construction of the primary school in the village was proof that the government was concerned about providing education to the villagers.

“The primary school is important for the younger generation as they have a chance to attain academic excellence despite living in a remote area,” he said. — BERNAMA

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