For the past month we have been paving the 1 km only access road leading to the Raja Musa peat swamp. 5 lorry trips, 6 tonnes of rock and sand, countless hours of shoveling, lots of caffeine, so many days of body ache, a thousand mosquito bites, cuts, bruises, sweat and a couple of arguments, negotiations, phone calls, piles of dirty clothes later. We finally finished it last Tuesday :)
We had the time of our lives!
When the request came to look for a sponsor to pave the road, Khatulistiwa was about a month old. The road needed to be repaired to make it accessible for better transportation of tools, volunteers’ food, the marcots and the toilets, so that volunteers did not have had to carry these along the 1km road, plant trees until mid day and then walk the 1km road back again to their cars.
What better way to boost company morale than a CSR initiative of our own. Sort of a walk the talk. It fell in line with the company CSR policy which is connecting the dots, between the persons wanting to help and avenues needing help. Hence we used our first principle - 4R - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and decided to repair the road.
Repairing an unpaved road? ok, we can handle that.. Some physics, some engineering and some psychology.. ahh should be able to nail it. So yes, it didn’t seem like much in the beginning. Just a simple job, get in there, pave the road, get out. Oh, how we were proved wrong!
Using sustainable way of living and reuse concept meant we had to find discarded rocks and sand piles to bring to “our” road, and we found lots of those, right in our taman. Its amazing what people throw out! So we dove right into work, bought ourselves a shovel each and started “work” every day at 9am, shoveling rocks into gunny sacks. At about 2pm, the lorry arrives and we then shovel our “treasure” and transport them to Raja Musa. During this time, we received lots of random kindness from strangers who helped us to shovel rocks, right up to loading 40 to 50 sacks onto the lorry.
Every day, this was our clock in and clock out at our office at wherever the rock piles were. Sometimes, we “did” the road at night, under the full moon light and return home from our “office in the wilderness” at 3 am!
As our way of saying Thank You to all tree planters past, present and future, to GEC and Forestry Malaysia for all the great effort they have and continue to put in to revive the Raja Musa Peat Swamp Forest, we sponsored an information board for them. So the next time you are at Raja Musa Peat Swamp, please take a look at the info board and pass the word around on how and ways we can revive the forest.
For pictures on FB please click here