EWBM x Water2Flush
Location: Kg Chang, Bidor, Perak
Community: Semai community
The Issue/ Concern:
In Kg Chang, there was a local kindergarten that requires new bathroom amenities. They had previously built a few but had already been filled up with waste. The location of the old bathrooms are located far away from the kindergarten. There will be no cover for the kids to the rain and hot weather every time they needed to go to the toilet. After getting a call from Kiwanis, we decided to visit and attempt to help. Besides, it was probably nice to visit the rural areas of Perak.
How did we help?:
The solution is pretty straightforward in this case as they urgently require new bathroom amenities. Once on site, we determined that the best location would be next to the kindergarten itself. The village head agreed to the position and we began working on structural design and the bill of materials. We had sourced a local contractor that could provide site expertise and to source locally made materials for it’s construction. Upon negotiating and balancing our budgets with the cost of construction, the contractor immediately set to work in building the bathrooms as designed. Believing in spurring the local economy, we had the contractor to source local villagers as manpower to work. Additional aesthetic designs for the walls was added by the villagers themselves and they made it into their own personal project. The project was completed with a sense of ownership by the villagers.
At the end of the project, we walked among the halls of the simple kindergarten. Cement was the main ingredient, and this was reflected on the walls and on the floor. The place became personal to the Semai people of Kg Chang because of the skittish drawings of their children that hung on the walls. There was a poster that showed the names of various Orang Asal communities that exists in Malaysia. “To remember their roots” said the village leader. They tried their best to pass on whatever they know to their kids, but the onslaught of modernity cast a lingering shadow over their traditions. Their ancient burial site hidden somewhere in the dense jungles of the Peninsular, remains preserved. When we have the time, probably on the next project, the villagers tempted us by saying they will bring us there when we returned.
With the success of this project, we aim to adopt it as one of the villagers for our community development initiatives, we are drafting up plans for a probable biomass solution for their wastes.