Allegro Visits Kiulu Farmstay

The rustic charm of Kiulu Farmstay has caught the attention of a Malaysian celebrity, Marsha Milan Londoh and her crew to come and host a cooking show here. In her show, she invited two local villagers to show her how to cook local dishes. Later on, she went for a short ride around the village, having a go at quad biking and after, interviewing local villagers on handicraft making.
Marsha Milan Londoh

Marsha Milan Londoh

Marsha with local villager

Marsha with local villager

Marsha with local villager

Marsha with local villager

  Her show called "Onu Rinapa ti" literally means "what's cooking" will showcase different locations around Sabah for a 13 episodes that will be aired on radio Television Malaysia (RTM) a local TV channel. Marsha, a native Sabahan is a well-known artist whose debut is from a reality TV singing competition called Akademi Fantasia where she won fourth place. She also dubbed the Malay version of the famous “Let It Go”, an original soundtrack from the animated Disney movie Frozen. Kiulu Farmstay is honoured to receive such warm welcome, and hopefully more will know the charm of its people and this place. Stay tuned for the episode!  

MUKEST Environmental commitment

Good news!

Kiulu villagers are making real progress and we couldn’t be prouder! Commonly, villages in remote areas are not provided with proper tools to deal with their waste production and unfortunately, environmental health is compromised. Last year, solid waste and greywater management were identified as the main environmental issues and happily, after the environmental education program held we can already see a transition happening.

Some of the solutions that they were presented with recently consisted of natural systems of waste management, such as composting and greywater treatment with banana plants. Composting is a valorization process of the organic matter and it consists in the decomposition of domestic waste by the action of microorganisms in the presence of oxygen (aerobic process). The result is a very fertile soil, perfect to use in a kitchen garden. By this, a natural cycle is closed and the organic matter is reused, producing zero waste. Banana plants, which is known to absorb great amounts of water, cleans the after use water coming from showers, sinks and laundries. Depending on the space available, banana circles can be installed, creating a 3 in 1 system: multi-crop space, composting and greywater treatment.

Little by little great changes happen and it’s good to see everyone’s effort! Congratulations to all.


Rusina's compost box in-the-making


Saidin building his compost box


The village boys working hard to prepare the Banana Circle


Preparing the Banana Circle


Rusina's Banana Circle in progress

  By Filipa Gomes

Harvest Time For SRI Project

A year ago, the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was introduced to Sikong Morigo at Kiulu Farmstay. This foreign method was received anxiously by Sikong and many others as they did not know what to expect. Months went by, and with guidance from our in-house expert Allan Zinkler and peer-learning during our recent trip to Tambatuon, we are anticipating the harvest results!

Sikong Morigo tending to his paddy

SRI promotes less reliance on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, reduce water requirements, enhance soil fertility and create resilience against climate change. What’s vital to note here is that the application of SRI practices can raise household incomes! From our observation, the paddy is seen to be progressing well with stronger and healthier tillers. OMG_4765 SRI is one of the many initiatives of Borneo Eco Tours (BET) and Borneo Ecotourism Solutions & Technologies (BEST) Society in enhancing the lives of the villagers in Kiulu. Part of the Community-Based Tourism efforts, the project aims to better the life of the community using positive methods that will bring about positive outcomes.
Our SRI consultant, Alan Zinkler

Our SRI consultant, Alan Zinkler


Teaching Day for MUKEST

Greywater natural treatment

Progresses are going fast in Kiulu! The environmental protection compromise is still on and our baby project is starting to achieve greater goals! This new activity was under the environmental education program initiated in October of last year and took place in Mantob village. The MUKEST president gently offered his house for the expositive presentation, where villagers engaged with this society came to learn new methods of water waste management.

  img_5392   img_5390 For a start, the sustainability concept was approached, explaining the intrinsic value of nature conservancy in order to protect our future generations. The audience was asked to identify which of their current habits they considered to be bad for the environment and some were mentioned, such as chemical use on farming and plastic burning. At first, a review was made about solid waste disposal, insisting for the eradication of one of the most common practices in these rural areas: plastic burning. An article was delivered, reporting all the direct and indirect dangerous of this activity, mentioning once and again the importance of recycling. Along, two simple tutorials were given, describing how to do a compost pile and the banana circle. This last mentioned system was the main subject of the day and followed by a practical example on field.   img_5403 The banana circle is a three-in-one method, representing multiple functions: composting, greywater natural treatment and food production. Greywater is all the after use water coming from shower, sinks and laundry, containing traces of grease, hair and washing products. As banana plants are very hungry beings, they’ll absorb really fast this water, avoiding their infiltration in the groundwaters, rivers and estuaries.   img_5413 In the tropics, like Kiulu, this is a very cheap, ecological and simple system to implement, to easily solve the problem of soil and water pollution in remote villages without any kind of greywater handling. Instead of banana plants, papayas can also be used or even coconut palm trees for bigger spaces. In this practical application, other plant species were placed around the banana shoots, including yam, sweet potato and lemongrass, creating a balanced inter-crop system where each plant represents a beneficial role for its neighbours.   img_5419 Hopefully, soon we will be able to see this implementation in all MUKEST villages. Big hurray to them! TERIMA KASIH! Filipa Gomes (BET intern)