The Pensiangan region was very heavily logged in the 80's and 90's. Many of the indigenous Muruts who live here were displaced from their ancestral forests further towards the bigger rivers, where they reside now. Being right next to the Indonesian border, Pensiangan has seen a lot of action during wartime, most notably during the "konfrontasi" with Indonesia. Now, as energy independence is achieved, the watershed is protected, village economies and indigenous rights are strengthened, the forest and its people are beginning to reclaim this land. Babalitan hosts a school attended by many other children from other villages along the river. In addition, the village is home to almost 300 people.
Unloading construction materials and equipment at the "port" of Salong, 4 hours from Kota Kinabalu.
The Tonibung crew heading downriver towards Kampung Babalitan.
Kampung Babalitan from a distance.
Community Organizing: Conducting consultations in preparation for the gotong royong the next day.
On-site: Tonibung and the Babalitan crew arrive at the nearby system site- a short boat ride from Babalitan proper.
Doing the math: conducting topographical surveys with the theodolite station.
Constructing the power house: Top- Sand hauled from the river bank in preparation for drying. Bottom- Cement at the forebay site.
Meal time: At the intake site taking a much needed rest.