Ayu is a 25-year old orang asli of the Jakun tribe. Her village is located deep in an oil palm plantation and she lives there with her husband and two sons, Adanial (9) and Alfoyu (4).
Her village relies on a well for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and washing. At times the water is not enough, especially during the drought season, so she fetches water from the swamp instead. The water there is a rusty, reddish brown; it has a bad smell and taste despite her best efforts to filter it with a cloth sieve and boiling it.
Adanial has been hospitalised twice for severe stomach pain. He threw up everything he ate and fainted from weakness and dehydration. The doctors diagnosed it as parasitic worm infections, likely caused by drinking untreated water.
Knowing this, Ayu still has no choice but to continue using the well and swamp water for her family’s daily use. Every day she is physically burdened with the task of fetching water several times a day. Every night, she is emotionally strained with worry over which of her children will fall sick next.
When asked why she didn’t consider leaving the village, she says, “My mother was born here, my grandmother was born here, and generations of my ancestors were born here. This is where I belong and this is where my children and their children will continue to live long after I’m gone.”
For Ayu and many other orang asli in the interiors of Pahang, water is an issue trapping them in an endless cycle of hardship and poverty. We ask for your help to break the cycle, giving them a chance to improve their quality of life by first addressing this most basic of needs, clean water.
Technical: Provision of LifeStraw Family 2.0 water filters
We chose LifeStraw Family 2.0 as it’s a high-volume point-of-use water filter capable of converting “microbiologically contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water, filtering up to 30,000 litres of EPA-quality water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for three to five years (vestergaard.com)”.
It is easy to use and portable, which suits the orang asli’s semi-nomadic lifestyle. We have installed these filters in 21 communities and through our follow-up visits, we have received positive feedback about its viability.
Educational: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) training
WASH is the educational aspect of our clean water initiative that complements the technical solution provided, to form development that is holistic and sustainable. In villages that are facing water scarcity, the people are not able to practice proper hygiene habits leading to the rise of waterborne and water-washed diseases like diarrhoea and skin infections.
We aim to raise awareness, especially to mothers who are the main water managers in their household and young children who are more susceptible to diseases and malnutrition brought on by poor hygiene.
Goal 1 - LifeStraw Family 2.0 water filters for 10 houses and water laboratory tests. Amount Needed: MYR6,300.00
Goal 2 - Community engagement and WASH training. Amount Needed: MYR2,000.00
Goal 3 - Logistics (shipping, taxes, and travelling). Amount Needed: MYR2,300.00
Global Peace Foundation Malaysia is part of an international peace movement that believes the power of one human family can ease conflict in the world. Our initiatives include programmes to develop communities in need, inspire educators, and empower youth.
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