W.A.T.E.R Project For Cleaner Rivers

Last update: 16/08/2016

By Farina Ashrin Ariffin

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 (Bernama) -- A river conservation and community service project called The Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (W.A.T.E.R) kicked off recently to clean up the Sg Way river and encourage sustainable living practices.

The initiative organised by the GAB Foundation and the Global Environment Centre (GEC), saw the participating of 50 students from the Management & Science University (MSU), who joined arms with local residents of Desa Mentari to clean up the river.

The collaboration enabled participants to understand and appreciate the importance of rivers as a crucial source of water as well as learn practical skills that empowered them to take action that will contribute towards conserving Malaysian rivers, the organisers said.

The event started with cleaning up the Sg Way river and a park, before conducting pollution mapping, water quality testing using chemical test kits and biomonitoring indicators and engaged in an interactive and informative discussion at the Sg Penchala information centre, a base camp for the W.A.T.E.R project.

GAB Foundation Trustee, Renuka Indrarajah said in a statement, "Water is a key element of life. As such, GAB Foundation is committed to drive greater awareness on the importance of protecting Malaysian rivers and we have spent more than RM4 million on the W.A.T.E.R Project since 2007."

FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS

GEC River Care Coordinator Dr. K. Kalithasan said, "Our efforts, including today's programme, have effectively complemented the policies and initiatives of government authorities to drive concerted river conservation efforts."

Commenting on her students' participation in the W.A.T.E.R project one-day activity, MSU lecturer Habibah Mohd Nor said, "Our students have benefited immensely from this experience."

The project has opened the eyes of the students to be aware that water do not come freely and have learned and experienced the importance of protecting rivers as a key source of water, she added.

Since its inception, the W.A.T.E.R. project has educated and engaged over 30,000 people to preserve key water sources around the country, including Selangor, Penang and Perak.

The initiative has also helped to raise awareness of the importance on river protection through training programmes and workshops, and the launch of a first-ever Handbook on River Management, as well as activities in the form of an annual River Carnival, the National River Forum and three dedicated River Care Education Centres.

--BERNAMA