Kg Lompios, a visionary’s dream come true
7 October 2023
KOTA KINABALU: Situated in Kota Belud, under the Kadamaian State Constituency, Kampung Lompios Lasau Podi stands as a unique village with a captivating history that unfolded just a few decades ago.
The roots of this village trace back to the arrival of a young teacher who was transferred to work in the area. Bandai Duasa, a native of Kg Kiau Nuluh, had always possessed a profound love for his community and a fervent desire to drive positive change. In the late 1970s, he began his career as a teacher and was eventually assigned to the sole school in Kg Lompios Lasau Podi.
As an educator, Bandai not only imparted knowledge to his young pupils but also instilled in them the importance of education. Besides that, he also told their parents the need for them to have a proper village in order for them to have proper infrastructure that could enhance their lives. He witnessed firsthand the struggles faced by the villagers, whose reliance on shifting cultivation as their primary source of livelihood often left them vulnerable to food shortages and unstable incomes. Bandai firmly believed that there had to be a better way to secure a sustainable and prosperous future for the Lompios community.
Fueled by his unwavering vision, Bandai embarked on an extraordinary journey. He rallied the people, emphasising the necessity of establishing a new village that would offer its residents a more stable and secure lifestyle. Eventually, after much effort, Bandai succeeded in purchasing three acres of land nestled amidst the gentle hills and picturesque valleys. Twenty-three families settled in the land, building their homes on their designated lots through communal work. Thus, the village Kg Lompios, was born.
With the land secured, the arduous task of building the village began. Bandai, who had married the woman of his dreams from the community worked tirelessly, pooling his resources, skills, and knowledge with the inhabitants.
The village slowly bloomed where land was transformed into fertile fields, nurturing lush crops such as Piper nigrum (Black Pepper) while others planted rubber trees and hill Paddy. The hill paddy was discontinued when the land grew unsuitable for repeat paddy planting and rubber trees were planted in their stead. The communal planting under Rubber Industry Board (LIGS) Sabah. This diversified the villagers' sources of income.
Bandai’s daughter, Zubaidah Bandai, 49, shares this story saying that in the 1990s the village was established as a real homestead and thus the village began its journey into the mainstream of rural development of that time.
“Five years after the establishment of the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) 25 hardcore poor homes were built for the impoverished populace at that time. The houses were made of wood then. A church and a surau (Muslim Place of Worship) were also built here for the people,” she recalls.
“After that, a road was constructed due to the timber extractions exercise in those days. So, we had a road thanks to the loggers. We also enjoyed running water when the gravity water supply was established,” Zubaidah who is the current JKKK Chairperson of the village says adding that in the early 2000s Kg Lompios got its electricity supply and the church was repaired and built with concrete.
The years went by and it was 2018. The village under the Kadamaian Constituency welcomed its new State Assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick. This young and energetic young man visited the village and interacted with its residents. Zubaidah says he was very approachable, friendly, and helpful.
“Under Ewon, in 2018 and 2019, the village road of around 500 metres was upgraded with concrete. A bridge was also built for easy access to farmland and neighbors,” she shares, elaborating that a new multipurpose hall was also built.
The hardcore poor houses were repaired and new concrete PPRT houses were built. Food baskets and donations were given to the sick and the needy. Donations for the family of the deceased and those who welcomed a new baby in the house were given.
Noodle making workshop.
Zubaidah says the swift changes in the people’s life was apparent then, as Ewon had supported the Black Pepper plantation endeavor and was instrumental in the building of the Black Pepper Processing centre in Kg Lompios. This establishment was a collaboration with USM. Another activity held there was the noodle processing workshop.
“This is a tremendous encouragement for the people here,” she enthuses, adding that Ewon had been their constant source of encouragement since he became their State Assemblyman there, where he once served as the State Minister of Rural Development before his present post as the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative.
She shares that several ideas occurred to the enthusiastic villagers including the establishment of an Eco-Tourism, called Taman Tamu Lompios. This was where the people could visit the Tamu or Market and take a dip in the river later on.
Concrete road in progress.
“It’s a beautiful place to go and since the weekly market is adjacent to the beautiful river, it can contribute to the local economy, promote cultural exchange, provide fresh produce, attract tourists, and enhance community cohesion,” she opines adding that it was a valuable asset for both the community and visitors seeking a unique and enjoyable experience.
Kg Lompios is now a close-knit community, where the spirit of support and upliftment thrived among its 400 residents. Bandai's dedication and leadership brought about positive changes that rippled beyond the village's boundaries, inspiring the development that had pushed the village into its present achievement.
The story of Bandai Duasa and Kg Lompios serves as a testament to the power of determination and the transformative impact that a single individual can have on a community. Through his unwavering commitment, Bandai not only founded a village but also ignited hope and resilience in the hearts of its residents, forever leaving a mark on the history of Kg Lompios.
Black Pepper processing.
Zubaidah credited their progress to Ewon, who is also the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) as he had tirelessly assisted and encouraged them through the years.
Kg Lompios stands tall as a symbol of unity, progress, and the unwavering spirit of its founding visionary, Bandai Duasa.-ends