The homes and surrounding of about 30 orang asli families at Kampung Ayer Denak is now brightly lit thanks to the setting up and installation of ten solar powered lamps by 21 Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) students.
When night falls, some of the village's area are pitch black. With the solar powered lamps, villagers are now able to continue their daily chores at night. They can also carry out activities at night among their family members and other villagers.
The lights come with solar panel, solar controller, battery and LED light bulbs. The light bulbs are easily replaceable.
The installation of the solar lamps is under a project called Hope UTP 2.0. Its objective is to encourage society to adapt to the use of renewable energy, specifically the solar energy, in their daily lives.
Nur Shaza Aliah Mahmud, the Hope UTP 2.0 project manager, said even though one may think that providing lights is a small effort, her team hoped that it may assist the orang asli for a better living environment, quality of life and hopefully, a better future.
"With this project, students and society can work hand-in-hand to make a positive change for the future of our young generation. We can be role models and inspire other youths to bridge the differences in culture, religion and standard of living," she said.
UTP students and the villagers who were involved in the project have now a better understanding of the working principle of a solar panel and the impact of the solar energy towards mother nature and the future.
In addition, the students, who came from different engineering fields such as Chemical, Electrical and Electronics, Mechanical, Petroleum and Civil, worked as a team and use the knowledge and skills they have acquired to execute the project.
Apart from the solar lamps, the students also contributed and installed water filter at the village.
As a lead up to Hope UTP 2.0, the students also hold pre-events such as conducting donation drives and organising school activities in rural areas.
The project was under the supervision of Dr Chong Su Li (Management and Humanities Department), Associate Professor Dr Mohamed Hasnain Isa (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Mohd Zairee Shah Mohamed Shah (Human Resource Management & Administration).
It is part of the General Studies or Matapelajaran Umum (MPU) national requirement prescribed by the Ministry of Education Malaysia. The course is designed to ensure that students acquire some basic elements to be applied in a community engagement project to support students' development. The social and value emphasis on this community based project is in line with UTP's mission to produce well-rounded graduates with a broad-minded, balanced and holistic view.