KUCHING: Only a small portion of the road to Kampung Sapit, one of the Bidayuh villages located at the foot of the Ulu Padawan hills near Sarawak-Kalimantan border, has been paved. The rest of the road is still unpaved and surfaced with gravel.
Work to improve the road had to stop because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the conditional movement control order (CMCO).
According to the village head, Yuyuh Gumi, Kampung Sapit has seen great changes since Dr Jerip, who is Assistant Minister of Transport, became their assemblyman in 2018.
“Construction of the access road started in 2018. We are very grateful to have Dr Jerip Susil as our Mambong assemblyman. He cares about our development,” he told New Sarawak Tribune when met during a Gawai visit at Kampung Sapit.
The village is located about 60km from Kuching. The construction of the access road is a significant gift from the stae government for the Bidayuh Biatah who have been living there for generations.
Yuyuh said most of the villages in the interior areas of Kuching Division had benefitted from roads built by the state government.
Before the current road was built, the people of Kampung Sapit had to walk about eight hours just to get to the nearest shop.
“We had to spend one day just to travel down to the nearest shop to buy sugar,” recalled Yuyuh.
Another Kampung Sapit veteran, Singau Gemuk said walking through the jungle and on bamboo bridges to get to other villages was the norm for the old folk.
“Before the road was built, we had to walk for hours on a dirt road to arrive at our village.
“But now, it is different. We can visit other villages in less than two hours,” he said.
It is currently not advisable for the public to drive up to Kampung Sapit because the road has not been paved yet.
If you are adventurous, be prepared for a long and steep uphill ride on the current narrow road to the village.
The villagers believe Kampung Sapit will attract many city folk once the construction and improvement of the road are completed.
They are forever grateful to Dr Jerip for the road. Without him, they say there will be no road today.