K A M P O N G L O K U R A I
G A Y A I S L A N D
- K O T A K I N A B A L U ,
S A B A H
O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0
P A R T 1
Kampung Lok Urai is a water village along the shoreline of Gaya Island off Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, where more than 80% of the settlers on the eastern shore are illegal immigrants from the Philippines. With floating stilt houses girdling the beach as far as the eye can see, it has an 8,000 population of largely Bajau, Ubian and Filipinos who provide Kota Kinabalu with a source of cheap labor. It is considered a dangerous 'no-go' zone by the authorities and locals of mainland Kota Kinabalu, where crime is deemed to be notoriously prevalent.
Stilt houses are all linked with wooden plank walkways, and as there's little to no support from governments of Malaysia nor the Philippines, residents of Kampong Lok Urai made a community of their own, with leaders, elders and such. Unfortunately, with uncontrolled population expansion, where resources are mostly taken from the mainland or produced on the island, hygiene and sanitation is of constant disregard. Source of income, besides cheap labor, are mostly from traders selling craftwork at the Filipino market in the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront, thus creating a necessity for speedboat operators to ferry school children, laborers, housewifes, etc to and fro the island and the mainland daily. As for the children, everything they can grab ahold of can be a toy of sort. Even a rooster.
All photographs taken using Canon EOS 1Ds MKII. Click on the images below to expand. No captions available.