Nordin is an outspoken villager and father of three from Kampung Cerampak in Pahang. With a deep passion for farming, Nordin has always desired to plant his own vegetables to provide for his family and fellow villagers. However, his attempts have not been successful due to one simple reason: water.
After being diagnosed with Leprosy four years ago, the exhausting chore of carrying buckets of water every day from a well soon took a physical toll on him. Still determined, Nordin spent RM200/month on fuel for a petrol-run water pump. However, he soon gave up as the cost became too overwhelming for him.
“They (vegetables) didn’t want to live. They didn’t look good and were skinny. After three to four months, they would wilt.” – Nordin
Within three months, upon our first visit back to Pahang post-Movement Control Order, we were awestruck by the sight of trailing green stalks planted in rows outside of Nordin’s home. Showing us his farm, we gradually came to the realization that he is now able to plant vegetables because the village now has access to water.
As part of Laneige’s Waterful Sharing Campaign earlier this year, our team installed solar-powered water pumps in Kampung Cerampak. For the first time, the villagers here no longer had to walk long distances with buckets of water to fulfill daily needs– they can now access water directly from their homes.
As Nordin can now conveniently water his crops, he has been busy growing groundnuts, long beans and oil palms. Excitedly sharing his farming endeavours with us, he even expressed his desire to plant more varieties in the near future.
Nordin’s farm is the perfect example of how access to water can become the catalyst for greater transformations.
Other villagers, such as Mona, also tried their hand at farming and are now growing fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, eggplant and chili. As many Orang Asli spend most of their income on food, Nordin and his fellow villagers will no longer have to rely on buying food as their only source. They can now grow and eat a variety of vegetables directly from their farms.
“Everyone in this village can eat. All the children can come and pick the vegetables…anyone who wants to eat, I will tell them to come and pick the vegetables.” – Nordin
Food security is possible for impoverished Orang Asli communities. Often, it is barriers to basic necessities such as water that can become too overwhelming for them to overcome.
Lauren Chew, Communications Officer