SOS from stranded Penan family in Kapit
Family needs aid to finance their stay as wife seeks treatment
KAPIT: A Penan patient from Long Unai — the farthest settlement on the upper reaches of Batang Balui in Belaga District — was referred to Kapit Hospital for medical treatment last April.
|APPEALING FOR AID: This penniless Penan family from Long Unai, Belaga is stranded in Kapit for the past three months (since last April). On the right is Serun with her two-week old daughter.
Since then, she and her family have been stranded here.
Identified by a Community Development Officer (Medical) at Kapit Hospital as Serau Nadun (in her 40s), the patient gave birth to a ‘borderline premature’ girl at Kapit Hospital about two weeks ago.
Last Thursday afternoon, an administrative officer in-charge of social development at Kapit Resident’s office Yii See Yong accompanied reporters from The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News during a visit to the family now putting up at Rumah Temui in Jalan Selirik.
Through a volunteer interpreter, Serau and her husband Nadun and their seven children aged between two weeks and 25 talked about their struggle here since April.
The children are Cela (25 years old), Bawin (17), Bit (15), Ngon (10), Tili (eight), Jon (two) and Selau (two weeks old).
Nadun was not present during the interview as he had left early in the morning to catch fish for the family.
Serau recalled arriving here after being referred by Long Busang Rural Clinic because of complication with her pregnancy.
“We brought many rattan mats, handicrafts, home-grown rice and preserved food with us. The mats were sold to pay various expenses and for lodging at RM8 a night charged by Rumah Temui.
“Gradually we finished everything and now there’s no money for food. But we can’t just go back to Long Unai because my next appointment is on July 21 at Beletih Polyclinic.
“The only thing we can do is cry for help while my husband goes out everyday to catch fish in the river. Sometimes, he came back empty handed and we have nothing to eat,” she said.
The family’s journey from Long Unai to Kapit took two days.
First, they paid RM30 for a ride in a four-wheel drive vehicle along a logging road to Long Putai where they put up for the night.
The next day for RM30 they got into an express boat bound for Kapit.
The alternative route is from Long Unai to Belaga down Batang Balui for three days. The cost of boat fuel would amount to more than RM1,000.
The nearest settlement to Long Unai is Long Busang.
Travel time between the two places is a day’s journey.
School-going children from Long Unai study at Long Busang and the sick get their medication from Long Busang Rural Clinic.
Those who wish to help Serau and her family can check with Kapit Resident’s Office at Level 9, Beletih State Complex.
Alternatively, call 084-796242 or 0198858497.
Crossed cheques bearing the donor’s name and contact address may be sent to Kelab Rado.