Scorching heat forces Semaq Beri tribe to escape into forest

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 06 Jun 2023

KUALA BERANG: The sweltering heat has driven a group of Orang Asli of the Semaq Beri tribe here, to leave their village for a much cooler dwelling in the forest.

A villager, Hitam Keladi, 60, said leaving their homes in Kampung Sungai Berua near here, to live in the jungles around Tasik Kenyir is a normal thing to do when the temperatures soar during the hot season.

Hitam along with 20 other families are also escaping the heat to protect their small children from heat exhaustion and other illnesses.

"There are more shady places for us here and with the fresh forest breeze, it is definitely much more comfortable.

"We are not fleeing our homes...just escaping the heat. The children’s health gets better when they are out in the forest, " he said when met here.

Once in the forest, they would not just settle in one place but will keep moving in search of wood or to hunt for food along the river.

Hitam, who is also the tribal chief of the temporary settlement, said they had left their homes for three months now and would return to Sungai Berua when the weather has improved.

Meanwhile, Sahak Samak, 41, also from the same tribe, said living in the forest during the hot season is an ancestral tradition.

"It is part of our nomadic culture to move from one place to another in the forest but we rarely practise this nowadays.

"We only move into the forest when necessary especially when the weather is extremely hot or when our village is hit by floods but when the situation has improved we will return," he said.

According to Sahak, apart from Tasik Kenyir, they have settled at several other forest areas near Sungai Cendana and around the Terengganu state park.

The Orang Asli Semaq Beri settlement area in Sungai Berua was established over 35 years ago after they were moved from Tasik Kenyir following the construction of a dam and ecotourism development around the lake. - Bernama

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Barisan ready to contest Kemaman if by-election called, says Zahid
Respect police professionalism, Ahmad Zahid tells Takiyuddin
MACC to give more documents to cops for red notice on Muhyiddin's son-in-law
Walk the talk on making Sabah, Sarawak potential rice bowls, says political economist
More prudent to deal with the floods in Kedah, Zahid advises Sanusi
Fight to elevate Sabah’s native court continues, says Ewon Benedick
MATTA Penang kicks-off with 261 booths
Meeting to discuss DuitNow QR charges on Oct 3
Kudat police dispose of more than 40 unclaimed firearms
Occupational injuries up 58.9pc in 2022, says Stats Dept

Others Also Read