SURAYATI and her mother, Norisah used to walk three hours and carry 16 buckets of water daily from their village well for the family’s use.
The groundwater reeked with an unbearable odour. Yet, the family had no choice but to drink the well water — their only source of water.
Their village, Kampung Terubing 2 in Pahang had neither piped water nor electricity supply, putting a damper on their hopes of embarking on farming activities.
This is the sad reality faced by many Orang Asli communities in Malaysia.
According to the Statistics Department, 53% of Orang Asli communities do not have access to piped water.
Besides the lack of access to clean water and sanitation, the Orang Asli are at higher risk of contracting water-borne and water-washed diseases.
Infant mortality is reported to be double the national figure while parasitic infections are as high as 90% in certain Orang Asli communities.
The lack of access to continuous, clean water supply is also identified as the key contributor to the problem of household food insecurity among these communities.
Since 2017, Coway Malaysia’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative “Happy Water Project” has been serving the country’s Orang Asli communities.
Now, in its fourth instalment, Coway, as a “Life Care Company” continues its efforts in providing clean and safe water to the communities in need across the country.
By year end, Coway’s Happy Water Project will have benefited about 700 Orang Asli families.
Despite the challenges, Coway remains committed and on track to achieve its five-year target of ensuring 1,000 Orang Asli families are given access to clean water by the end of 2021.
Today, Coway supplies household appliances to over 1.5 million homes across Malaysia and endeavours to bring “Life Changing Water” to all Malaysians.
With the Happy Water Project, the company is serious about its responsibility and mission to safeguard the basic human necessity, while ensuring a continuous, clean supply of water.
Coway’s efforts are aligned with United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goal 6, which emphasises the importance of clean water and sanitation.
This will ensure that more families, like Surayati and her family, would be able to benefit and enjoy access to clean water and ensure their families are safe from water-borne diseases.
The company is addressing the issue of water scarcity and water poverty which is not unique to Malaysia as it affects more than 40% of the global population.
These numbers are predicted to escalate with increasing global temperatures.
For the third consecutive year, Coway Malaysia is partnering with Global Peace Foundation Malaysia to empower Orang Asli families through its Water, Sanitisation and Hygiene (WASH) Training programme.
The programme includes activities to promote proper handwashing, teeth-brushing, and a healthy diet.
The public may also contribute to the Happy Water Project by joining the Coway Virtual Run: Change The Game, scheduled from Nov 1 to 29.
The public can run for a cause as RM10 from each participant’s registration fee will be donated to the Happy Water Project.
The run will present an interesting gamification twist for runners who will earn achievement badges through the course of the virtual race.
For details, visit www.coway.com.my/happywaterproject and www.cowayrun.com.my