News Release

Water Wells Build Self - Reliance Among Orang Asli in Remote Jungle Villages of Malaysia

Access to water is a basic necessity of life, and the provision of wells is being done by LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In eastern peninsular Malaysia, villagers were recently assisted in their efforts to become more self reliant.  They received materials to install wells to provide daily water and to pump that water to their humble homes. Joy and appreciation were evident in the expressions on the faces of these indigenous people as they showed visitors their new wells!

One young family without access to water previously went to other village homes to beg for their daily water.  Visiting different neighboring houses so as not to burden any one, they got by on meager water rations.  When a senior humanitarian couple learned of the plight of this family, and others in similar circumstances, they went to work to apply for funds to purchase culverts, simple pumps and piping.  Partnering with John Chin, a man familiar to many Orang Asli villages, the donated materials were delivered.  Villagers eagerly dug the water holes, put in the culvert pieces, ran the pipes to their homes and installed the pumps. They then built basic shelters to protect the wells and pumps.

Although simple, these wells provide the basic necessity of water which greatly improves their quality of life.  One new well services three "houses" providing water for 13 people. In another village, a new well provides water to three houses, and meets the needs of the 17 people who live within those walls.  An additional well serving another three houses, provides water for 10 people. 

Many more wells are needed in these remote jungle villages. A young father without water to his house expressed his sadness at the impossibility of well-making materials making it to his village.  His village is located in the center of land owned by others who do not maintain the dirt roadways, and the rains that wash out the road prevent delivery of water well materials.  He told how difficult it is to live without access to proper water for bathing, cleaning, laundering clothes and washing dishes.  He and his cousin and their families rode their motorcycles out to the main road to see John and to discuss solutions with the solution-offering humanitarian couple. For this family, relief will come when LDS Charities purchases two culverts to mend the road drainage problem, then well-building materials can be transported to them.  They will then happily perform the necessary labor.

The quality of life for these Orange Asli villagers, whose life span averages 53 years, is greatly improved when they have regular consistent access to water for their most basic needs.  John Chin is a valuable partner for LDS Charities, as he possesses the knowledge of where the needs are, and he has built a relationship of trust with many villagers. 

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