Nurturing a livelihood via Petronas’ Planting Tomorrow programme

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Getting about his daily life used to be a different experience for Calvin Magudampai, 56, a resident of Kampung Katud, near here. On most days, he said, it would start with a long walk to the river ? a trip that included trekking up and down the hill.

?We would wake up as early as 5am and make our way to the river, bringing with us containers to collect water, and walk back to our homes. Mind you it?s a long walk, took us more than an hour,? he said.

Other residents of Kampung Katud and two nearby villages ? Kampung Pulutan and Kampung Patiu ? would have similar stories to tell about how life used to be in their village.

But things began to change for the better with the implementation of the ?Planting Tomorrow? programme, a corporate social investment programme carried out by Petronas in collaboration with Yayasan Sejahtera.

Launched in February 2017, this programme aims to uplift the socioeconomic well-being of identified rural communities in two phases of assistance ? the provision of an alternative water supply solution, followed by implementation of sustainable livelihood activities.?Through the programme, gravity-fed water supply facilities were installed in the three villages, benefiting about 400 residents.

And, the programme?s livelihood component, meanwhile, sees a total of 80 participants provided with a number of assistance including agricultural implements and 200kg of ginger seeds each to start off with their farm.

A year on, the programme is beginning to pay off for the participants, with the first harvest of ginger taking place in March this year.

?It?s selling well. For instance, at one time, we brought some 500kg of ginger to Kota Marudu tamu (weekly market) and all was sold out by noon,? said Dalius Maloi, 39, another participant of the programme.

Planting Tomorrow is part of Petronas? corporate social investment (CSI) programmes that aim to empower and create shared values within the communities, through three main pillars namely education, community well-being and development and environment.

The partnership with Yayasan Sejahtera for the programme falls under the CSI pillar of ?community well-being and development?.

Petronas general manager for Sabah and Labuan Regional Office Rokiah Sulaiman said: ?Sustainability has been ingrained into our business philosophy and is a reflection of our genuine concern for the well-being of our present and future generations.?

Beyond the provision of gravity-fed water supply and the ginger farms, other changes have also been sweeping across the participating villages.

?To me, the most important change that I observe is in terms of mindset,? said Kota Marudu district officer Arnold Joibi.

He said Planting Tomorrow is an excellent programme as it addresses the basic need of the community, which is water supply, and it also provides them with opportunities to uplift their standards of living through ginger farming. Apart from the three villages in Kota Marudu, a similar programme is also being implemented in Mukim Dandun in Pitas, involving seven villages.

Petronas is also collaborating with Yayasan Sabah to implement Planting Tomorrow in Kampung Imbak, Tongod, which saw upgrading of the water supply system there, and assisting the village to set up its homestay operations.

For Jaimi Kanturun, 39, the programme has provided him with a strong footing towards self-reliance. ?Even though this programme might not be here forever, I can continue to do this on my own, using the learning from Planting Tomorrow,? he said.

Life has also changed for the better for Magincin Sadiam, 38. His ginger farm, located about 30 minutes? walk from Kampung Katud, has also been producing yields.

?It means a lot to us. The programme relieves us from water supply problems, and the livelihood activities have given us something to look forward to doing every day,? Magincin said.

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