Proactive residents take matters into own hands

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

RESIDENTS of Kg Tanjung Nangka recently took their own initiative to clear dead branches and overgrown bamboo shoots which hung precariously over the narrow single-lane road passing through their village.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, the Village Head of Kg Tanjung Nangka Hj Lamat Nawang said that the village’s consultative council decided to undertake the job themselves to reduce reliance on the government for their village’s upkeep.

“There is a very tall tree quite close to the road at the village cemetery which has been dead for quite some time now and we were worried that as it gets more brittle, it may one day be uprooted and block the road completely for the hundreds of residents who rely on this road for their daily commute,” he said.

According to the village head, they had brought up the matter to the relevant authorities, however, no action has been taken.

“We had been trying to get the authorities to either clear the road or completely chop down the dead tree for three months but they were unable to do so immediately so we decided to pool our resources together and take care of the problem by ourselves,” he said.

Hj Lamat said that with about 15 residents involved in the operation, they were able to share the expenses of hiring a large flat-bed truck with an elevating platform lift to carry out the work while several residents brought along their own chainsaws.

“We want to also set a good example that people should not be too reliant on the government and that there are some things which can be done through our own initiative with the spirit of gotong royong (mutual assistance) among village residents,” he said.

Hj Lamat added that although the operation was primarily the work and initiative of local residents, it could also not have been possible without the cooperation of the authorities.

“We would like to thank the Royal Brunei Police Force who helped us direct the traffic while we had to work on the side of the road as well as the authorities who gave us the permission to carry out the works,” he said.

The residents of Kg Tanjung Nangka successfully cut down and cleared the road of overhanging dead branches and overgrown bamboo plants.

However, the five-storey tall dead tree was not felled as the residents did not have the expertise and equipment to do so without guaranteeing that damage to public property or the cemetery would not occur.

The Brunei Times