UNDERSTANDING SABAH RURAL POVERTY - There are 74 Poverty Stricken Villages in the remote Kadamaian area of Kota Belud, Sabah. Like most rural villages in the state, they are underserved, and are poorly accessible - rural communities face logistical issues as road access is only on gravel / mud roads. Moreover, these marginalized communities are disconnected from public utility systems, and lacking even the most basic of human needs (common rural issue) such as not having access to the public water supply system.
More than 90% of rural villagers (retirees, housewives and senior citizens) do not have stable work or income source to support their families’ living expenses due to Kota Belud being an underdeveloped and remote district, severely lacking business and job opportunities.
Project Focus Area
Kota Belud, Sabah
75 km ; 1hr 30mins
from Kota Kinabalu
UNDERSTANDING HOW RURAL POVERTY IS FORMED IN OUR PROJECT AREAS
The average rural Kota Belud villager’s household income ranges between RM200 - RM800 per month and is incredibly unstable. The majority of these villagers (above 90%) are depending on periodical contract work (factory work) and selling low-value crops in small quantities to make a living.
Most of these village families are in the low-income bracket (B40) and spend almost all their household income on buying food from the town markets and paying for high living costs; including high transportation and medical costs to survive.
Poverty issues within the rural community have only worsened since the Covid-19 Pandemic struck. The living situation of families have worsened, as their earnings have been adversely affected, in addition to increased food and grocery prices (inflation of basic needs); spending on food has become even more unaffordable.
Furthermore, widespread poverty and continuous unemployment have also exacerbated the overall challenges of rural families, causing more rural villagers to greatly depend on short-term external aid (food baskets) to get by, Food Insecurity is their fundamental issue for now, and it is only getting worse.
WHAT WE DO - Marginalised communities in Sabah are trapped in the poverty cycle due to poor infrastructure and remoteness of the rural areas. Founded in 2016, Hopes Malaysia (HOPES) is an emerging civil society organization (CSO) that focuses on SUSTAINABLE community development projects to meet the basic needs of the underprivileged rural Sabah community.
We are focused on “Sustainable Development” in underprivileged rural communities, engaging beneficiaries to become more self-sustainable; from addressing the villagers’ basic needs to clean water and food security, to improving their socioeconomic status and quality of life for their families.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN 5 YEARS
From 2016 – 2019, we managed to complete 7 gravity water systems ranging from 2km to 7km. connecting 7 different rural villages in Kota Belud and benefiting more than 8,000 villagers in need. Before our intervention, families in these 7 rural villages were disconnected from the public system, had limited access to clean water and found it hard to fulfil their daily basic needs.
These projects included replacing and repairing the villages’ existing water gravity systems to support the growing population of these communities, building new water catchments and installing new water pipes for many families without a proper water system.
Gravity Water Project 2016 - 2019
Kadamaian, Kota Belud Sabah
benefited from gravity water project
rural beneficiaries access to
clean water supply
of piping enables the water
supply for houses and farms
Lowest maintenance cost
Lessen financial burden
WATER PROJECT PHOTO GALLERY
Slide left to right - click the image to open in full size
From 2020 - 2022, we started introducing existing and neighbouring villages with sustainable farming to improve their socioeconomic state. Utilising their gravity water systems, more than 80 rural villagers from 8 Kota Belud villages participated in our sustainable small-scale farming project, improving 40 - 53% of their overall household income.
Apart from that, the communities were able to have better food security (diversity of fresh produce available and accessibility to protein sources from rearing fish and chicken) in their villages during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Our vision is to sustainably improve the living standard of the underprivileged through our impactful community work. Below shows how we are able to achieve FOOD SELF SUFFICIENCY (Zero Hunger) in our rural work.