KOTA KINABALU - Help is underway for mountain guides and others affected by the Mount Kinabalu earthquake with the Sabah Social Services Council launching a fund for them.
State Social Services Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said funds for it would come from the government as well as donations from NGOs and individuals.
"We realise that guides would be among the worst hit by the closure of the mountain for at least three weeks," she said when launching the fund at the Kinabalu Park headquarters here.
"For them guiding is the main source of income for them and their families and we will do our best to help them," Jainab added.
She said the fund would also be used to help repairs for the houses of villagers damaged in the Friday earthquake.
An initial donation of RM20,000 was contributed by Wanita Barisan Nasional.
Mount Kinabalu Guide Association chairman Richard Soibi said there were about 250 locals working as guides.
Another 50 people also work as porters on the mountain, he said.
Many of them are from Kundasang, Ranau, Kota Marudu and Kota Belud.
Those wanting to contribute to the fund may do so through the Council by sending their donations to its Alliance Bank account 101960010086060.