By: Faten Syahira Syakrein
Photographs: Suhkeri Abu Bakar
SEMENYIH – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) handed over two keys of houses which were built at about RM42,000 with elements of environmental sustainability, safety and comfort, for Orang Asli in Kampung Kachau Luar, Semenyih recently.
The keys were presented by UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Relations), Prof. Dr. –Ing. Ir. Renuganth Varatharajoo to one of the owners, Zuriani Abdullah.
The event was witnessed by Director General of Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA), Jamalludin Kasbi, Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad (AZRB) representative, Long Hamdan Long Mat and Kampung Orang Asli Kachau Luar chief, Batin Zainal Kilong.
The project is organized by the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UPM in collaboration with the Civil Engineering Students Club, Faculty of Engineering, AZRB and JAKOA, and it was funded by National Blue Ocean Strategic Unit (NBOS) of Higher Education Ministry, through UPM Pusat Transformasi Komuniti Universiti (UCTC).
Prof. Dr. –Ing. Ir. Renuganth said the project had translated UPM’s aspiration to fulfil its community service and responsibility to the society.
“I believe that this project will not only promote the role of UPM and AZRB in community development but also enhance understanding of students who were directly involved in the project on quality construction and the needs to produce civil engineers who are sensitive towards human safety and environmental sustainability.
“It is also a reflection of skills and credible self-identity in the aspects of talent and community activity,” he added.
In his speech, Jamalludin said the project will create more opportunities for the Orang Asli community to work closely with the university, industries as well as government agencies in terms of knowledge sharing from time to time.
“It is my hope that more of such cooperation will continue to be carried out for the benefit of Orang Asli to help improve their standard of living and also for a better, meaningful future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zuriani Abdullah, 30, said the house gave her and her family new hope in having a place to call home.
“Each time monsoon came, I will be worried and restless as rain water will flood our old house, causing discomfort and other inconveniences,” she said while expressing her gratitude to all parties involved in building the houses.
This Charity Home Building Project for Orang Asli which was led by Senior Lecturer from Civil Engineering Department of UPM Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Syazwani Idrus which also consists Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Raizal Saifulnaz Muhammad Rashid, Dr. Fauzan Mohd Jakarni, Dr Nuzul Azam Haron, Prof. Dr. Ratnasamy Muniandy, Aminuddin Amdam and Mohd Razali Abdul Rahman commenced in September 2015.
The brick houses with an area of 800 square feet with three bedrooms, a living room and kitchen take less than a month to complete at a cost of about RM40,000 and involve volunteers consisting of 80 students and 20 staff of the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UPM. - UPM
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