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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

SUNGAI GAPIS FALLS

Some general knowledge shared a bit... There is a secluded village located in some peaceful narrow valley called Kampung Sahom, this where 4 major races live together along side peacefully, Malays, Chinese, Indians and Orang Asal (Indigenous people) shared few common things here especially the lush rainforest of Bujang Melaka and Titiwangsa Mountain Range, I think this a few area in Peninsular Malaysia per square KM that we could found abundant of streams and river which some of it lies pristine waterfall that only knew by the locals. But now some of the area in the brink of being threaten to be wiped out permanently from this earth. This is due to logging and quarry activities where it caused a famous inland mud tsunamis in 1996 Pos Dipang tragedy and just this year area nearby Bertam Valley in Cameron Highland received the same fate. On the recent development, the state forestry office had approved new compartment for logging which part of it is a reservoir for Kampung Sahom located in Sg. Serokai Falls (or Lata Jemuk known by the locals), due to steep slope, the villagers afraid that the next Pos Dipang and Bertam Valley could happen here since the village lies in a very narrow valley and this location located in Northern Malaysia maybe it would received the same fate like Kampung Belum in Gerik, where it become flooded for massive dam construction. I began to mesmerized by this area with some highlight by Meor Razak from Sahabat Alam Malaysia on the campaign to halt the logging activities within the compartment of Sg. Serokai Falls because 80% of the villagers relying on the source of water from this intake and to prevent this area become the next victim like Pos Dipang. Apart from inspiring effort, the most important part is take the villagers formed a joint action committee for this campaign and now serious effort had been done by several NGO to push several agencies and state government in reversing the decision that had been made earlier, from my observation the action still in diplomacy stages and several community effort had been planned which one of it is Lata Jemuk Community Hiking scheduled on December 2013. Same goes for the plight of Penans in Burum, it also goes for all the Sahom population that share the common perspective which is forest is not just the profit of several group but a benefit to the whole community. I would like to thank Cikgu Mat, Abang Rosli, Che Moon who accompanied me during the 1st ever Kampung Sahum's waterfall trip and the "Orang Kampung Sahom" that welcome me warmly, here is the trip report of the waterfall (we visited Sg. Anjing Falls earlier and this waterfall is not expected which Sg. Anjing is a tributary for this river) that lies in Titiwangsa Range and we cancelled the trip to Lata Kura and Lata Kundur due to cloudy whether.

The issue being highlighted in Sinar Harian and the photo of Abang Rosli and the villagers showing that they really meant business on this. Credit to Meor Razak from Sahabat Alam Malaysia.

The detailed topography map of Kampung Sahom in Kampar, Perak. Credit to Meor Razak from Sahabat Alam Malaysia.
 

The entrance to Kampung Orang Asal Sg. Budak, a track for motor cross enthusiast in Kg. Sahom and also to both Sg. Gapis Falls and Sg. Anjing Falls.

You had to crossed a small tunnel underneath the PLUS Highway.

Then you will meet the Sg. Dipang which famous with its tall waterfall known by the local Sahom as Lata Keluang, but for some waterfall enthusiast it also known as Pos Dipang Falls. Sg. Gapis is a tributary of Sg. Dipang.

Just nearby the river a remnant of "kongsi" (labor quarters) that killed six people during the 1996 Pos Dipang Tragedy, this is happened so closed with Kg. Sahom and this monument become a silence evident that it would be occurred if nature is neglected.   

Pleasant ride to Semai's Village of Sg. Budak.

Orang Asal Village of Sg. Budak, I never expected to also shot Hornbills flying across the valley.

Panoramic view of Bujang Melaka from the rooftop of Kg. Sg. Budak. 

At the edge of Kg. Sg. Budak just short dirt trail it will end at this rocky river, this is Sg. Gapis. 

First you need to trek in secondary forest area which minor hiking, Abang Rosli and Cikgu Mat leading the march. 

Along the trek you will found several "suak" streams that contribute to the longevity of Sg. Gapis. Abang Rosli and Cikgu Mat discussing about the condition of the stream. 

You will pass an orchard owned by Orang Asal community. 

Che Moon is showing the confluence of Sg. Anjing and Sg. Gapis which we heard some roaring sound, we never expected that there a low level cascades here, Sg. Anjing is at your left side and Sg. Gapis at your right side.

The first tier of Sg. Gapis cascades, abundant of water due to rainy season. 

Second tier, this area is huge.

Third tier upstream and we stopped at this spot, maybe there is tall waterfall upstream who knows looking by the quantity of water discharged. 

Abundant of butterflies that become a side income for Semai community.

Thank you to the "taiko" for bring me here, from right Abang Rosli, Cikgu Mat and Che Moon. 

I also being greeted by Bah Ngah, the village chief for Sg. Budak, that is the visiting book for outsiders to sign.

For the second time I entered a so called "Red" area in state of Perak, the area that need full attention for nature lover and the area that should be gazetted as State Park, I also witnessed the determination and the cry of so called heirs to this beautiful valley and for those waterfall enthusiast out there this is not  about the picturesque waterfalls that you visited but it is a lesson to all waterfall enthusiast out there on how we can help the community that rely on the waterfall itself rather than looking it as picturesque element but the serenity towards the people around it, I left this post with some quote from famous poetry lyrics from my all time favorite band:

Of saying "Hey, well maybe you should stay."
Sing "Oh what force on earth could be weaker than the feeble strength of one"
like me remembering the way it could have been.
Help me with this barricade.
No surrender. No defeat.
A spectre's haunting Sahom.
I am your pamphleteer. 

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