In 1999, 10,000 indigenous people in Malaysia were evicted from their homes for the Bakun Dam Project. The affected people were relocated to small plots of resettlement. These villagers could not survive on the small plots of land given to them by the government as part of the compensation.
Return to ancestral land
Some families preferred to return to their original homes which are situated by rivers and streams as they preferred to depend on fishing, cultivation and hunting for their livelihood. Unfortunately, the villages they have established on their ancestral land are not legally recognized by the government. As such, they may be evicted.
Lifestyle and livelihood
River transportation is their main mode of transportation. They depend on river transportation for sending their children to school and to transport foodstuff and fuel. The river is also a source of food for them. Their ancestral land, being close to the river, is suitable for agriculture. The forest also allows them to hunt for wildlife as a source of food. The indigenous people rely on the forests for clothing and shelter as well.