8th July 2013
Seven days down, all is well and we bring some brief updates of how all our Alpha groups are getting on with their projects.
Since the Alpha groups deployed they have cumulatively driven to the four corners of Sabah using roads, off road tracks and crossing rivers to reach their project sites. All of them will be learning new skills along the way and will be building some fantastic memories.
We know you are all eager to hear from the projects and to know how your loved ones are getting on and so here is a brief update from the groups given to us in their daily situation report (aka “Sitrep”) over the radio.
And so, onto Alpha 1 and the first of our 4 Community projects who have been working and playing hard, tirelessly laying the foundations of the kindergarten in, at times torrential rain, whilst also making time to establish solid community relations through celebration and feasting!
As for Alpha 2, the work and effort put in by the group has got their Gravity Fed Water System off to a great start and has seen them successfully move all of the cement, rocks and sand needed up to the site where they will be making a concrete dam. They too have been creating great links with the community through interaction with the local school.
Alpha 3 signals the first of our 3 Environmental Projects and having started the week accommodated at Imbak Rangers Camp, they have successfully completed some trail maintenance and have now moved and made home at Raleigh Camp. It is from here that they have begun work on the focal point of their project, erecting a 350ft suspension bridge.
Talk of changing camps, conveniently brings us to Alpha 4 who, earlier this week, joined their materials and food in being airlifted, from their initial camp, Mengaris Camp at Danum Valley Field Centre to the middle of the Danum Valley Conservation Area to their new camp, Kuala Subran where they have now settled and started construction on the research facility. From our radio comms with them, we know that they have started to dig the holes in which the cabin posts will stand.
On the Adventure groups, Alpha 5 kicked off their expedition by undertaking a dive course on Mamutik Island and then using their new skills to help with on going conservation work by coral-planting. Since then, they have made their way from the luxury and beauty of Mamutik to Long Pasia where they will be starting off the trek part of their phase.
For Alpha 6, they started off the expedition with trek and have successfully completed 7 consecutive days of trekking over some pretty rough and wet terrain. Luckily and deservedly they now find themselves just 4 days from leaving the jungle around Long Pasia and switching it up with Alpha 5 by going across to Mamutik Island to test themselves in the dive environment their counterparts have just left behind and have a break from the jungle.
Moving on to Alpha 8 and the first of our three 5-week expedition projects. They too have set a blistering pace on their Gravity Fed Water System and having moved all of their materials to the dam site within the first 72 hours of arriving, have now completed the construction of the concrete dam and platform for water tanks. As with all of our community projects, Alpha 8 have been working with the community but also finding time to learn from them.
Coming to Alpha 9, our penultimate group and the last of our Gravity Fed Water Systems, they too have set a fierce pace and have already made serious steps in replacing the old water
pipes and updating the system to make it more effective. In addition to this they have had a great deal of cultural exchange with the community and undoubtedly will be learning a lot from the Head of the Village the much loved “Aunty”.
And finally, to Alpha 10, who represent Raleigh’s involvement in a major biodiversity survey taking place in the north of the country. The group has gained hard yards in piecing together an extremely accurate picture of the wildlife in their region through the use of mist nets and animal friendly ‘trapping’ techniques and is now well placed to consolidate on their research over the next 2 weeks.
As we visit the project sites on the “The Loop” we will bring back more updates from them and post some blogs written by the project groups themselves.
In the meantime, know that everyone is safe, well and happy.