KUNDASANG: The 252 mountain guides who lost their livelihood following the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Mt Kinabalu on June
5, have resorted to alternative sources of income to support their families.
Mt Kinabalu Mountain Guides Association chairman Richard Soibi said some of the members have started their own endeavour such as planting vegetables while others have taken up odd jobs such as clearing drains.
“It is shocking to find ourselves out of a job all of a sudden. But what can we do, it is God’s will. So while waiting for Kinabalu Parks to reopen for climbing activities, we mountain guides have to look for other means of income,” he said.
The association has received various forms of assistance including cash from the public, non governmental organisations and corporations for its members.
One of the donors was UMNO Malaysia’s welfare bureau which presented RM561,000 to help tide the members over for three months.
Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said RM187,000 would be channeled to the association each month beginning this month.
“The active mountain guides would be given RM800 each while the partially active ones, RM400 each,” he told reporters after handing over this month’s assistance on July 7 at Kundasang.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun had earlier announced that the mountain would be reopened to the public on Sept 1, but this depended on the safety aspects.-BERNAMA