Thursday, July 24, 2008

Watery Grave

Balleh River, in the upper reaches of the Rejang, is one of the main gateway for the timber industry of Sarawak. Logs were transported by means of huge boats locally known as tongkang.

Balleh River is normally dangerous and treacherous to navigate during the dry season. At various places, the river is narrow and have many rapids. But the lure of huge profits and high demand for timber, the tongkangs have to brave those rocks and narrow water ways.

It is also during the dry season that the production of timber is at it's highest point. This is so because logs could be transported easily from the hinterland to the log ponds. Logging roads were rugged and they are constructed along the contours of the hills and as such the road conditions were almost impossible to access during rainy days.

The hazards of navigating the treacherous rocks and narrow water ways are very great. At various points along the river you could see sunken tongkang and what is left of them. Even though the losses in terms of property and human lives are high,the timber industry has to go on.


enjoytheworld said...

Interesting post!!! Only problem is the has taken some time to load. Nice blog! Keep it up...