TAPAH, Oct 5 -- The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah launches the installations of 10 units of solar powered Safewhere water treatment systems at seven Orang Asli villages in the Batang Padang district here today.
Also present were the Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim and Raja Kecil Sulong, Raja Ahmad Nazim Azlan Shah Raja Ashman Shah.
The Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Sultan Azlan Shah Foundation (SASF) Trustee, General (R) Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin, Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia Rescue and Relief Team (IMARET) chief co-ordinator Dr. Ahmad Munawar Helmi Salim and Orang Asli Development Department director-general Prof Dr. Juli Edo also attended.
Mohd Zahidi said the Safewhere field water treatment system contributed by SASF which became operational since Sept 7 supplied treated water to more than 1,100 in the villages.
The units were installed in five weeks by IMARET with the co-operation of the Malaysian Armed Forces involving a cost of RM1.1 million, including a 10-year maintenance amount.
‘’The initiative of SASF with the co-operation of the Batang Padang district health office and IMARET to supply treated water for the Orang Asli community also involves the constructions of a mini dam at the Orang Asli village of 17th Mile Kampung Sekam Bawah,’’ he said in his speech at the launching.
The villages which received the system were: Kampung Orang Asli Batu 14, Batu 15, Batu 16, Batu 17 Sekam Bawah, Batu 17 Landing Zone, Batu 19 and Batu 20.
Mohd Zahidi said the villages were picked after a study conducted by IMARET and the district health office found there was a need for treated water at the villages which were dependent on natural water supplies and were susceptible to water-borne diseases.
Other than in the interior of Kelantan and Johor, the system had been installed at the Rohingya refugee camp at the Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh and four villages and temporary shelters for the quake victims in Palu, Sulawesi.
SASF was incorporated as a Limited company on Feb 6, 2006 with the purpose of promoting welfare activities beneficial to the communities in Perak.
SASF also represented the legacy of the late Sultan Azlan Shah and the symbol of the Perak Sultanate which provided an important connection other than closing the gap between the king and the people including the Orang Asli.
Meanwhile, Tok Batin of the Batu 17 Kampung Bawah Sekam Orang Asli, who only wanted to be identified as Long, said 200 people from over 30 houses in his village were happy at the installations of the water system,
‘’We were using piped water. But we want a better water treatment system to avoid diseases,’’ he added.