Do All Malaysians Have Access To Clean Water?

orang asli village

We all know that water is vitally important for survival and it is a basic human need. It’s easy to take granted clean water when we can have it at a turn of the tap. However, clean water is still a luxury for some Malaysians, namely the Orang Asli.

Can you imagine walking for miles to fetch water from deep wells or scooping water from dirty puddles, ponds, ditches and holes? Most of us would complain if there was a water cut. 

Source: Global Peace Foundation

53% of Orang Asli communities do not have access to piped water[1].

Imagine boiling brown coloured water and praying that it will be safe for drinking and cooking? Most of us have water filters in our homes and never think twice about the water we consume.  

Source: Business Today

And imagine if you had to clean up with a pail of murky water or take a dip in a stagnant pond? Most of us would choose not to clean up until we have access to clean running water. 

The truth is, water is life. When we lack it or get it in a contaminated form, it increases the risk of a host of health issues such as skin infections or water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea. 

Source: Simply Giving

The prevalence of parasite infections is as high as 90% among children in certain Orang Asli communities[2].

The Orang Asli, or the first peoples of Malaysia, are significantly unhealthier compared to others due to their inability to access clean water. 

This caused the Global Peace Foundation to initiate the Communities Unite for Pure Water (CUP) initiative by installing water pumps in a village to filter water into each household. The initiative has helped an entire village gain access to clean running water. 

Source: United Nations University

CUP has benefited more than 3,000 villagers who struggled to have access to safe water and sanitation due to their remote locations[3]

Water safety and sanitation in Malaysia has greatly improved over the years, but more action is required to secure access to safe water and sanitation for all. 

Source: Global Peace Foundation

Access to clean water is still a luxury, especially for those living in rural areas. Companies like Nestle and Global Peace Foundation are joining hands working towards access for all under projects like ‘Safe Water, Safe Communities’[4]. A UN reporter submitted a detailed proposed framework to help overcome the issue[5]

Clean water should not be a luxury. It is a necessity and a basic need for all. 

Source: Global Peace Foundation

Explore Our Sources:

  1. Metro News. (Sept 2020). Committed to bringing clean water to Orang Asli villages. The Star. Link.
  2. Elyana, FN. et al. (2016). A tale of two communities: intestinal polyparasitism among Orang Asli and Malay communities in rural Terengganu, Malaysia. NCBI. Link.
  3. Yakawich, N. (April 2018). Global Peace Foundation Partners Collaborate for Clean Water Project in Malaysia. Global Peace Foundation. Link.
  4. Vijaindren, A. (Sept 2018). Nestle Malaysia, GPF launch Safe Water, Safe Communities project. News Straits Times. Link.
  5. Heller, L. (2018). Report of the Official Country Visit to Malaysia 14-27 November 2018. UN Human Rights Office Of the High Commission. Link.

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