MIRI: The state government has finally agreed to give villagers at Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme more land to build new houses and for farming after 15 years of persistent appeals.
The 15,000 villagers were resettled because of the Bakun Dam and they were originally given three acres of land each. However, they said the land had become insufficient as their families had grown and on top of that, it was not fertile.
Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang said the state government had come to the decision to give more land recently and surveying was being carried out by the Land and Survey Department.
“Earlier, this year, the Sungai Asap folk brought their appeal to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister when they visited Sungai Asap. Now, the state government has approved the request.
“What the resettled folk also want is fertile land, not sandy or rocky land. The Land and Survey Department will determine the best plots of extra land to be allocated to them. These new land should be as near to Sungai Asap as possible,” he told The Star.
It is learned that the Sungai Asap folk, who are now living in 15 longhouses, had asked for at least 10 acres of extra land each.
Liwan, however, said the exact size of land to be given to them would be announced at the appropriate time.
“I cannot announce that yet but the size of land should be big enough for each family to carry out farming to earn a decent living. I hope the ground survey works can be completed fast and the land given to the families as soon as possible,” he said.
Liwan said the approval of additional land showed that the Federal and state governments cared for the people and that it fulfilled the promises made to them. Source : The Star Sarawak.