Towards Safer River Crossings
The suspension bridge project in Bario over the Kubaan river in Sarawak was a joint effort by International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), Samling, Forest Department Sarawak, Sarawak Forestry Corporation and the Penan people of Ba' Medamot to improve rural connectivity for the community. Samling was heavily involved in transporting large amounts of building materials to the construction site and appointed staff members to collaborate with the agencies to construct the bridge.
The suspension bridge is located along the 20km jungle trail between Ba' Medamot to Bario. The project is aimed at breaking the isolation of these rural communities and is an important access especially for the Penan communities in several villages and several semi nomadic families. Penan children regularly use the trail to go to school in Bario. In the past, Penan families with young children would need to spend a night or two in the forest to wait for the water to subside as the Kubaan river swells up quickly after a heavy rain and makes crossing very dangerous.
|The official opening of the bridge by Sarawak State Forestry Department Director, Datuk Len Talif Salleh.|
The Colours of Tamu in CTB
The scene outside Samling's Centre Base Camp (CTB) in Baram was a spontaneous hustle of marketing activities. The word 'Tamu' which means "meeting place" are open markets ubiquitous among the natives of Sabah and Sarawak where they gather to buy and sell or barter farm produce, handicrafts, traditional ware and food items.
|Open daily, the CTB tamu provides surrounding native communities a fixed venue to buy and sell local farm produce and a regular source of income|
The CTB Tamu, a wooden shed constructed outside the gates of the CTB is a corporate responsibility project initiated by the Baram upstream team. The 'tamu' benefits more nine villages within a 72km radius of its vicinity, enabling local communities to buy and sell local market produce such as vegetables and fruits, providing them a source a regular income.
|Customers include CTB camp and Samling staff and villagers from surrounding communities. It's also a local gathering for the people to discuss latest events.|
Building Bridges in Caria Caria
Our subsidiary in Guyana, Barama Company Limited, recently donated building materials for the construction of one the bridges across the Caria Caria Creek at the Essequibo River, near the company's Buckhall operations. This new bridge links two parts of the Caria Caria village across the creek and encounters pedestrian and vehicle traffic daily.
|The local community at the opening ceremony of the bridge|
The bridge was a result of a meaningful partnership between the government who commissioned the bridgeworks, Barama, who contributed building materials and the community who took it upon themselves to undertake the construction of the bridge. Caria Caria is one of the areas that Barama's Joint Community Relations Committee covers to enhance the relationship and engagement with local communities and the government.
|Bridging the gap. Villagers now have an easier access to and from their village.|
Restoration of suspension bridge
Together with the Forest Department of Sarawak, Samling Global proposed, planned and funded the restoration of the suspension bridge connection between Long Lellang A and Long Lellang B as a community development project of the Long Lellang village.
We delivered large amounts of wire for the restoration work and appointment several of our staff to collaborate with the government agency on reconstructing the bridge. Community members agreed to contribute timber, boat transportation and labour to the project.