GUA MUSANG: About 129 residents from 40 families in Kampung Miak, here, have to risk their lives walking on logs to cross the Depok River after the wooden bridge connecting the village collapsed and was swept away by strong currents on Dec 21.
A resident Tg Usri Tg Hamzah, 55, said they were aware of the danger but had no choice after the over 50-year-old wooden bridge, the only link to Gua Musang and Kuala Krai, collapsed.
He said that after the bridge collapsed, residents could not go out to buy food supplies, send their children to school and grow crops to sell because their movements became restricted.
“Currently we are using a makeshift bridge of two logs to cross the river.
“Residents of Kampung Laloh, Kuala Krai would be waiting for us on the other side of the river with their vehicles to give us rides to do our daily affairs, including sending more than 50 children to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Lela Jasa and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Laloh,“ he told reporters here today.
Tg Usri said that apart from using the logs, there are daredevil residents who take the risk by using four-wheel drive vehicles (4WD) to cross the river.
According to Muhammad Hasan, 56, the residents could not sell their rubber and vegetable products after the bridge, courtesy of a logging company in the 70s, collapsed completely despite being repaired several times.
“We hope that the logging company can repair the bridge as soon as possible and also request that the state government build an iron bridge or a special alternative route for the village residents only,“ he said.
Meanwhile, Gua Musang district chief Ab Pattah Hasbulah said his office was aware of the problems faced by the villagers and went to the ground to send basic food aid and cash to ease the burden on the communities concerned.
“The distance from Kampung Miak to the main Gua Musang-Kuala Krai road is 30 kilometres and you have to use a 4WD vehicle because the road is not paved.
“An alternative route that can connect this village with the outside area is through Sungai Lebir which takes an hour along the river,“ he said. – Bernama