‘Pompa Malaysia’ : Lifeline for Palu residents

KOTA PALU (Central Sulawesi): With clean water supply still in critical stage following the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, “Pompa Malaysia” now provides a “lifeline” for residents there to get their supply of essential items.

“Pompa”, or wells, which were dug on an initiative by the Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisation ( Mapim), brings relief to victims of the disaster who are facing the risk of being contaminated with water-borne diseases such as Cholera, E-Coli, Hepatitis A and E, as well as Leptospirosis.

A resident in Palu, Rusman Muhamad Taer, 45, regarded the presence of the wells as a huge blessing for the people there.

“Prior to this, some of us had to 'fast' from drinking because clean water was too scarce and we have to give priority to the more needy ones, like babies and children, women and senior citizens.

“Thank you Malaysia for all the assistance, it's now easy for us to get drinking water. Malaysia is always concerned and the best,” he said when met by Bernama at Masjid Darul Hikmah here, where one of the three Malaysian “pompa” is located.

Mapim took immediate action in digging the wells following an announcement by the Indonesian government on the urgent need of the people of Palu for clean water supply after being hit by the disaster last Sept 28.

Its Central Sulawesi Emergency Assistance Mission head, Dr Ahmad Sani Araby Al-Kahery said Mapin had so far dug three wells, which benefited more than 150 families, and was in the process of building seven more wells at several locations in Palu.

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“The 'pompa' is special because the mineral water (in the well) is sourced by digging about 80 metres into the ground using a ground drill and goes through three layers of filter and another filter to clean the germs.

“It is capable of producing clean water supply which is safe for drinking because from tests conducted, the PH level of the well water, after going through all the filters is PH7,” he added.

The earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale, and the tsunami, which hit Palu, had so far claimed more than 2,000 lives. — Bernama