Food aid still needed
Published: 30 January 2015
It was another round of heli-drops for the interior villages of Kuala Betis in Gua Musang, Kelantan on 25-26 January. DAP's Tabung Dana Kecemasan made this possible, together with additional support from UNITED SIKHS.
A total of 13 sorties were made (a sortie behind a journey beginning and ending at the landing base), with each sortie usually serving two villages. In all, 25 Temiar villages or settlements were served.
With each sortie delivering about 350kg of supplies, the total food and other supplies delivered over the two day period was approximately 4.5 tonnes. Not much if you consider that this was for 350 families.
For one village, this was the first time they had received any aid since their food woes began in November. Kampung Rekom was allocated food in the first round of heli drops on 3 January 2015 but as we were told that there was no landing point there, their food was dropped at nearby Pos Simpor for them to pick up from. But the road from Kampung Rekom to Pos Simpor was impassable even on foot, and the food was not delivered there.
The heli drops also enabled two Temiar women who were ill to be brought to Gua Musang for medical attention.
At the end of the first day of the heli-deliveries, we received word that a group of Temiar from Kampung Gawin in the Pos Gob area had arrived by foot and were camped out at the transit shelter on the Perias River, about 22km from our base in Kampung Parik. Another group from Kg Jader in the Pos Simpor area had arrived a little earlier.
Emergency food and supplies were sent that night, for them to see the night through, while more food supplies were delivered the next morning for them to bring back to their villages. Half a day on motorbike, or almost 2 days by foot.
With the acquisition of a second-hand Hilux and the gradual opening up of land routes, some of them by the Orang Asli themselves using changkuls (hoes) and their own energy, food supplies are now able to reach more Temiar villages, or at least the travelling time to reach the food depots are getting shorter.
The establishment of the second food depot at KampungTapai, for example, means that the villages in the Pos Balar and Pos Dakoh areas now have access to food supplies within half a day's walk.
CN-COAC | 30 January 2015
About 2,400 kg of food were delivered over the two days.
The items were packed on a per family basis. Supplies for 30 families could be carried in each sortie.
Melissa of DAP's Impian Malaysia gets to see where the food is delivered.
Boys trying to brave the sandstorm created by the helicopter's downwind.
Each sortie is guided by an Orang Asli rep from the area to be visited, as in the case of Lina here.
Penghulu Anggah was supposed to stay behind after guiding the helicopter to his village in the Pos Belatijm area, but his wife was ill, so he accompanied her back to Kg Parik, with a view to going to the clinic the next day.
It turned out that Lina's auntie was ill for the past two weeks and so was 'brought out' by her. She was admitted to the Gua Musang hospital that evening but was only seen by a doctor on the third day!
Kampung Rekom was the last village to be given food aid in the Kuala Betis area.
Road access to the village was disrupted due to landslides and loose soil.
Kampung Sempadik, close to the Perak border, received its second round of food aid. The first was on 3 January.
Exhausted villagers from Kampung Gawin rough it out at the transit camp, after almost 2 days of walking.
Food and other 'emergency' items are brought in from 22km away, to make their night bearable. Take-home food supplies were delivered the next day.
As the source of all their water needs was the murky Sungai Perias, we left the portable jerrycan water filter there. This was donated by Ufilta, the manufacturers of water purification systems.
Meanwhile, the task of delivering food aid by road continued...