82 Water Treatment Systems in Pahang Orang Asli Settlements are neglected and not working

water treatment plants
One of the neglected water treatment and supply system in Kg Denai, Rompin, Pahang Darul Makmur

PAHANG: Around 82 water treatment systems and plants cost more than RM113 million have been neglected by the local authorities in the rural and remote areas of Pahang since the year 2016.

These water solution providers which comprise of water supply and water treatment system were built in such remote areas to provide Orang Asli settlers clean drinkable water. 

According to a source familiar with this water treatment project, these water systems are using the latest technology  and are capable of supplying clean water up to 3,400 houses in the Orang Asli villages.

The biggest system has the capacity of 20m3/hr and it can supply clean water up to 1,000 houses.

Being built with the latest and efficient Ultrafiltration Membrane Technology, each water treatment system costs around RM1.4 million (RM1, 388,000,000). 

The source said that the total contract for this neglected water plants project costs RM113, 850,000, which is more than RM113 million.

The systems were installed on time, but it was soon neglected by the related authorities and not maintained by the concerned party for many years. Part of them have become rusty and slowly decaying in the jungle. Nobody benefited from it despite the fact that the people there are in need of every drop of clean and drinkable water. 

 water malaysia

Some remote schools have the water filter plants installed but unfortunately not operating nor were they maintained. The pupils cannot drink from the school water pipes because the water is not clean. They have to bring their own bottles of water from home.

It was the first time in Malaysia’s history to install these sophisticated water supply systems using Ultrafiltration Membrane in such remote areas for the Orang Asli people. 

Malaysia World News (MWN) reporters have visited few sites where these neglected water systems were located including in Kg Telimau, Cameron Highlands,  Kg. Teluk Gunung, Jerantut, Kg. Belukar Nangka, Pekan.

One of the neglected water System in Ladang Dublin Schoo

It’s really heartbreaking to see most of these sophisticated water plants getting rusty and about to decay with long grasses mounting on them.

Some of them are still functioning and still in good conditions and need only a little maintenance and all people there will benefit from them.

The sad thing is we have no idea what kind of sacrifices that the contractor and the poor workers had gone through to build such huge water plants in the jungle and complete the contracts.

swap test
Installation and Commissioning of Waterbuss Water Supply System powered by Generator in Orang Asli Settlements in Kg. Pangen, Cameron Highlands. Photo taken in year 2011.

One of the workers involved in the installation of these huge water treatment plants told us that it was really not easy to dig miles in the jungle to bring the water here and to build the heavy systems in the jungle.

“Most of the time we had to work on the plants at night and bear the bites of mosquito and insects here.

“Some nights were like nightmares, we even saw tigers, elephant and snakes approaching us, but we had to meet deadlines and we managed to complete all on time,” he told MWN.

The Orang Asli should have benefited from these plants and the authorities should have encouraged such great technology that was brought to solve the water scarcity in such remote villages. -Malaysia World News


Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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