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Five-year clean water plan for Orang Asli families

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THERE is no joy than that of having clean water bursting forth from your taps but this is a luxury for some. After having to rely on surface water from rivers and streams for a while, a good number of Orang Asli residents in Kampung Sungai Tiang, Cameron Highlands can now enjoy purified water via a rainwater harvesting system that have been recently installed in their village.

The installation was made possible thanks to Coway Malaysia’s long-term Happy Water Project in collaboration with the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa).

The first water purifier company to initiate and execute such a long-term community effort, Coway’s project aims to provide 1,000 Orang Asli families with access to clean water within five years.

Coway (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Kyle Choi Ki-Ryong said it was heart-wrenching to know there were still Malaysians in remote villages that do not have access to clean water.

“We are determined to uplift the lives of these underprivileged communities through this project,” he said.

The instalment, which coincided with the month of Ramadan, has benefitted over 327 residents from 73 underprivileged families living in the remote area.

At point of contact, the community had yet to receive access to clean water for their daily use due to heavy water usage from nearby plantations. The lack of direct piping to the village impeded progress.

Instead, the people have been consuming surface water from rivers and mountain streams for drinking, cooking and other household chores.

Designed to offer ease of use, the rainwater harvesting system comes with a pump to accommodate water usage at the mountain. This offers a simple and reliable solution to the Orang Asli as it can be easily maintained without skilled labour.

According to Choi, the sponsorship of the rainwater harvesting system to other villages will be conducted progressively with the collaboration of Jakoa throughout a period of five years.

“The selection criteria of these villages is aimed at those who do not have direct water supply from the government or those whose water supply does not adequate their daily needs,” he said.

“As the first water purifier company to undertake such an initiative, we hope to also raise awareness for cleaner and better-tasting water among Malaysians.”