How you can help the Orang Asli affected by floods
Published: 27 December 2014
We were in the hilly areas of Ulu Tual over Christmas where it rained almost non-stop – sometimes, a continuous heavy drizzle, at other times roof-bashing thunderstorms. One of the newly-built bridges was washed away and others had water waiting to breach their tops.
No wonder then that the low-lying areas, including major towns on the east coast, are flooded. The upland forests – that is, whatever is left of them – are longer able to sponge up the deluge of waters from the heavens.
Near RPS Kuala Betis.
Many Orang Asli areas are affected by the floods. Some have houses inundated, forcing the Orang Asli to move to higher ground. Several Orang Asli have also been stranded for several days, unable to return to their villages due to breaks in the road system.
While we know that some of the more severely affected Orang Asli villages are receiving aid from the government and other disaster-relief services, including JAKOA, there are many other villages that are considered 'less urgent' and are being told to wait.
The standard operating procedure, we are told, is that only if the situation does not improve in three days (after the report is made), will government aid (especially food) be distributed to them.
Pos Lanai before Christmas.
We appreciate that the emergency assistance services have their hands full and have their priority areas to service first. But from our network members, we know there are other villages, as well as individual Orang Asli, who also need urgent assistance.
In response, the JOAS-Semenanjung Action Committee, the Peninsula wing of the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, has begun collecting information from its members and coordinating the collection and distribution of donations and other assistance to un-helped Orang Asli areas.
A list of some of the affected areas, and the contacts for the respective village coordinators, can be assessed from the following google drive document, which is being regularly updated: JOAS Flood Relief.
Should you want to help directly, we strongly suggest that you get in touch with the Contact Person based in the area for more information on their situation there, on what their needs are, and how you can help.
Alternatively, JOAS has set up a Flood Relief Fund with the Center for Orang Asli Concerns as its administering organization. The donations will be distributed to the local coordinators who would be able to procure or purchase the items needed at the local level. Receipts will be issued.
If you wish to donate to the fund, the bank details are as follows:
Contact number: 0133508058
For further information, please contact the following JOAS secretariat members:
Sze Ning 012-6061592 | Yein 012-6863457
For updates and the latest situation, go to the JOAS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joasmalaysia?ref=ts&fref=ts
The situation in the Temenggor Dam. Jahai community.
The newly-constructed bridge washed away after a night of heavy rain. The old log bridge is the only access to the villages inland to Pos Sinderut.
Bridge at Kg Chempian holding out against the floodwaters. If it gives way, all the communities along the route to Pos Sinderut will be cut off.