ORANG ASLI FLOOD RELIEF

FLOOD RELIEF TO 4 OA VILLAGES IN PAHANG
(BELUKAR NANGKA, RAMAINIA, GANTONG GERIANG AND PATAH JELUTONG)

Date: 16th January 2024
Staff Present: Vicky, Zamri, Rema, Amos, Nathaniel

On 16th of January 2024, with the generous support of Jaya Grocer, YKPM implemented the distribution of food aid bundles to families across 4 Orang Asli villages in Pekan, Pahang that had been most severely affected by the recent floods. Jaya Grocer sponsored 231 sets of food bundles for the operation, each bundle containing dry food essentials such as rice, flour, cooking oil, canned food and more. Details of the 4 OA villages are as follows;

  1. Kampung Belukar Nangka: 99 families
  2. Kampung Ramainia: 25 families
  3. Kampung Gantong Geriang: 27 families
  4. Kampung Patah Jelutong: 80 families

Upon receiving the call for help, these 4 OA villages had been completely cut off since the 26th of December 2023 due to village roads being submerged up to 5 feet high from flood water and blocked by other debris.

The flood this past monsoon season was beyond the expectations of the villagers and left the communities in dire need of food supplies as their reserves were quickly depleting. On top of that, their livelihood activities had come to a complete halt as they were not able to work or sell their rubber/oil palm due to vehicles not being able to access their villages. The worst cases were families with young toddlers and babies who were in additional need of milk supplies.

Every village recipient of the food aid bundles expressed heartfelt gratitude to Jaya Grocer as the sponsors of the goods. The aid received will help with immediate food supply shortage and will also buy some time for villagers to get back on their feet while their main sources of income are being disrupted. However, it will take substantial time for their livelihoods to be restored to what they once were since much of their crops, farms, equipment and property were severely damaged.

Our heartfelt thanks also to YB Dato’ Sri Sh Mohmed Puzi Bin Sh Ali, MP for Pekan, and Dato’ Zaliza bin Zulkipli, DO of Pekan, for facilitating the flood relief efforts.

Some photos from the operation below.

The food bundles sponsored by Jaya Grocer were delivered to Kuala Mentiga Community Hall, which was the most viable option as a drop-off location for the goods to be redistributed to other villages from there.
The food bundles sponsored by Jaya Grocer were delivered to Kuala Mentiga Community Hall, which was the most viable option as a drop-off location for the goods to be redistributed to other villages from there.
On site to receive the donated food aid bundles were JAKOA officers from Pekan District as well as the Penghulu Kuala Mentiga. Pictured are the officials with members of the YKPM ground team.
On site to receive the donated food aid bundles were JAKOA officers from Pekan District as well as the Penghulu Kuala Mentiga. Pictured are the officials with members of the YKPM ground team.
Food aid bundles being redistributed to the affected villages.
Food aid bundles being redistributed to the affected villages.
Flooding situation in Kampung OA Ramainia was still bad upon receiving the food aid bundles, thus small boats had to be used to transport the goods.
Flooding situation in Kampung OA Ramainia was still bad upon receiving the food aid bundles, thus small boats had to be used to transport the goods.
Food aid bundles were received by Tok Batin and the residents of Kampung OA Patah Jelutong
Food aid bundles were received by Tok Batin and the residents of Kampung OA Patah Jelutong
Residents of Kampung OA Gantung Geriang receiving food aid.
Residents of Kampung OA Gantung Geriang receiving food aid.
For some villages, the food bundles were handed over to Tok Batin at the community hall and residents came to pick them up.
For some villages, the food bundles were handed over to Tok Batin at the community hall and residents came to pick them up.

FLOOD RELIEF TO KAMPUNG OA TEMELONG, KARAK, PAHANG
(TEMELONG INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' VILLAGE)

10th January 2022

The recent flood has been devastating to the OA Temuan (Temuan indigenous peoples) in Kampung Telemong (Temelong Village) near Karak, Pahang with their houses being destroyed by the unleashed forces of nature.

With rapidly rising waters in the early morning hours, the families barely managed to escape with few personal possessions. They heard the roar like sounds of the tsunami-like waters surging through the river, bringing all the driftwood and logs towards their village.

The enormous amount of logs brought downriver by the flood is probably due to owners of durian and other plantations. Whilst clearing the land, they had pushed the felled trees to the side of the hill or beside the river, and this had accumulated over the years. When the ecological limits of the forest had been reached, the torrential monsoon rains unleashed its might to bring all the driftwood downriver, causing death and destruction to everything in its path.

Six non-locals were stranded on the bridge with their vehicles and were swept away by the flash floods. Five bodies have been recovered so far.

Fortunately for Kampung Telemong, there was a strong bridge that held the logs from crashing into their village. However, 10 out of the 11 houses in that village were destroyed by falling uprooted trees. One house (image on left) was completely swept away into the river, leaving only the floorboards as a sign that a house ever existed there.

All of the OA retreated uphill wading through waist-deep waters. They were afraid to be relocated into nearby schools or other facilities for fear that they would not be allowed to return to their own land. Thankfully, JAKOA (Malaysia’s Department of Orang Asli Development) brought in some makeshift tents on this higher ground for them to stay.

On 5th January 2022, YKPM brought flood relief aid including food, mosquito nettings, gas tanks, stoves, cooking utensils, plates, cutlery, cleaning agents and toiletries, because we were told the night before that the village had already received plenty of food aid. Hence, we utilised the unspent funds to buy the requested plastic boxes, gas tanks, bins and toiletries. On arrival, we discovered that many people had been sending food aid to the same village. An NGO contact working there said that they already have 20 bags of rice for each family plus other foodstuff.

This is encouraging to see the Malaysian public so ready to help. However, without proper coordination, such surplus is inevitable.

On that very same day, one Chinese group had just delivered food to the community and after us, a PERKIM group had a convoy of goods being brought in.

Hence, we decided in the next phase to focus on the longer-term rebuilding facilities like clean water supply systems or even housing and sanitation.

YKPM is now partnering with Saora Plus headed by Ganesh to build sanitation. Ganesh has wonderfully mobilised the community to rebuild their houses.

Thank you for those who supported this flood relief fund. We will building toilets in Kampung Telemong and exploring how to build suitable water solutions in Kampung Genting Peras, Ulu Langat.
We had also brought food relief aid to Kampung Sungai Dua Olak, Karak, and will be helping some farmers in Kampung Melai whose farms were flooded.

It looks like once news of a village crisis is viralled, food aid comes in all directions. Kudos to our Malaysians. So, good to see all races helping the stranded Temuan. There is hope for Malaysia and at the grassroot community, races are willing to help each other.
Next, we need to look at strategic interventions and better coordination.

Kon Onn Sein
Managing Director
Yayasan Kajian dan Pembangunan Masyarakat (YKPM)
10 Jan 2021