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The Malaysian Insight: Orang Batek kampung lights up

KAMPUNG Aur is the second Batek village in Taman Negara to start using lights – for the first time ever.

Located along the border of the national park, some 9km away from Kuala Tahan and accessible only by boat through Sg Tembeling, the kampong is not on the grid. Villagers lead a nomadic lifestyle, often spending long periods in the jungle where they hunt and gather what they need.

However, with logging and plantation activities threatening their way of life, the tribe is forced to find other sources of income, such as craft and tourism. They are also starting to prioritise schooling for their children.

The lights will help the villagers on their craft work, as well as for the children to do their homework at night.

The lights – rechargeable portable LED lamps powered by solar panels – were sponsored by architecture firm Veritas Design Group, construction firm Haskell Malaysia, and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, US, through the Kampungku initiative by conservation non-profit organisation EcoMy.

Last year, under the same initiative, Kg Dedari next to Kampung Aur, received similar rechargeable lights and solar chargers. Kg Dedari has since opened several “jungle huts” to accommodate tourists. – September 5, 2018.

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