17th June 2014
Our five week Volunteer Managers ((VM's) have all found out which projects they will be working on during the expedition. It's now time to reveal the project allocations for the 10 week VM's. Drum roll please!
10 Week projects (14E)
Alpha 1 – Kg. Sonsogon Magandai – Solar panel transformer building and community resilience.
Kampung Sonsogon Magandai is a remote village within the Pitas region in the hills of Kota Marudu, comprising of 120 houses and approximately 500 people. Many villages in the Pitas region lack basic necessities such as clean water and electricity.
Alpha 1 will be constructing a 20x40 building to house transformers for solar panels and also a teaching space/workshop for the project. In addition they will also survey the area for a feasible water source and plan for installation of toilets for Raleigh projects fot 2015.
Raleigh is working in collaboration with Barefoot College which teaches women to install and maintain solar panels. During the expedition, the Barefoot College programme will take 3 women from the village to India for six months training. In the meantime Raleigh will build the infrastructure for housing the system so it is ready on their return.
The project will be looked after by Tom, Dave & Laura (phase 1), Tom & Andrea (phase 2) and Tom & Welly (phase 3).
Alpha 2 – Kampung Lumou – Gravity fed water system and WASH programme
Kampung Lumou is a village in the Tongod region and has a population of approximately 570 consisting of 50 families.
For the residents of Kampung Lumou access to fresh water is a daily chore. They rely on water from the roofs of their houses and often use a down pipe to collect rain water into a tank. This system is rife with problems, mostly brought on by droughts and climate change.
Alpha 2 will be installing a gravity fed water system, which will supply the village with a reliable and sustainable source of water. By providing Kampung Lumou with access to clean water, one of life’s basic needs, Alpha 2 will be bringing a sustainable lifeline to the community, a more optimistic future and reducing the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation. They will also be providing a full WASH education program (Water and Sanitary Health) to the residents of Kampung Lumou. Providing access to safe water in combination with education on the importance of good hygiene practices, are some of the most effective ways of achieving positive results with regard to health and socio-economic impact.
The project will be looked after by Mike & Jerome (phase 1), Mike & Keith (phase 2), and Keith & Gemma (phase 3).
Alpha 3 – Maliau Basin – Trail build and Maintenance
Maliau Basin is known as ‘the land that time forgot’ and it will not take long before our
Raleigh volunteers see why; this is an area of awe-inspiring beauty. Maliau Basin is a Class One protected rainforest and spans 25 kilometres in diameter with cliffs as a high as 1,700 meters. The forests within these walls are some of the oldest and untouched in all of Borneo.
Working in partnership with Yayasan Sabah, the Raleigh project team Alpha 3 will improve the trail system currently used by researchers and tourists who visit the site annually.
The biological value and rich biodiversity of the area, coupled with the importance of it as a pure water catchment area signifies its importance for conservation. Due to the rich diversity of indigenous vegetation, the area is seen as a potential gene bank for the rest of Sabah to help with future forestation.
The project will be looked after by Angela & Keith (phase 1), Angela & Chris (phase 2), and Chris, Jerome & Dave (phase 3).
Alpha 4 – Imbak Canyon – Bridge construction and trail maintenance
Imbak Canyon has a world renowned research centre and became a Class One protected area in 2009, meaning that it can never be touched and that logging is illegal. This area of the jungle is one of the last remaining untouched and relatively unexplored areas of jungle in Sabah. More people have reached Everest Base Camp than explored this 30,000 hectares of primary jungle.
Alpha 4 will continue work on a 350ft suspension bridge construction as well as restoring and making new trails to ease access for protection and research. While out on project the venturers will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in jungle life. They will learn to live and survive in the rainforest as well as have the opportunity to complete treks to understand the presence of flora and fauna in the area.
Yayasan Sabah and the ICCA Rangers are very keen to extend access to the limited trail network to make further studies possible. With potential new species discovery and important research, projects here could lead to medical progress and will maintain Imbak Canyon’s status as a protected conservation area.
The project will be looked after by Ceri & Andrea (phase 1), Ceri & Katie (phase 2), and Katie & Angela (phase 3).
Alpha 5 and 6 – Long Pasia and Pulau Mamutik Trek/Dive
For Alpha 5 and 6 the adventure phase will compromise of two parts; an initial jungle trek in south-western Sabah followed by diving from Mamutik Island in the Marine Park off the coast of Kota Kinabalu (or vice versa).
The trekking takes place in the jungle in the southern part of the State near the border with Kalimantan (Indonesia) and Sarawak; starting and finishing from the village of Long Pasia. Long Pasia is one of the richest plant diversity sites in the whole of Borneo and is steeped in tradition and folk lore.
Local guides along with assistant guides and volunteer managers will lead the treks providing a real awareness into both jungle living and life in this rural area. Whilst on trek venturers will be learning how to survive in the jungle, from setting up their own camp to discovering ways the forest can provide food and medicine.
The 5-6 day diving programme offers venturers the opportunity to obtain a certified PADI Open Water Dive qualification, or to improve their current standard of qualification. The course takes place within the Tunku Abdul National Marine Park, in conjunction with Borneo Divers. The dive aspect also involves planting coral or heliong with an underwater clean-up. Thanks to Raleigh’s help, marine life is flourishing in this area of natural beauty.
Trekking and diving both require a huge amount of team work and the venturers will be encouraged to develop their own leadership skills, for some, completely out of their comfort zone.
For Alpha 5 the project will be looked after by Liam & Chris (phase 1), Liam and Jerome (phase 2) and Liam and Mike (phase 3).
For Alpha 6 the project will be looked after by Gemma & Katie (phase 1), Gemma, Dave & Welly (phase 2), and Ceri & Laura (phase 3).
The volunteer managers have all now departed fieldbase to their respective projects to complete Project Planning Visits (PPV's). We will be back soon with an update on how they have got on!
Ps: Don't forget, if you want to leave a message for a loved one please make sure you mention their name and project group in the title. Private messages won't be posted publicly. Any general messages of encouragement are welcomed and will be posted below so please keep them coming!