SPARK Foundation, in collaboration with the Global Environment Centre (GEC) celebrated World Rivers Day through a river clean-up session with the local communities.
Together with the GEC, SPARK Foundation teamed up with more than 50 volunteers and local communities from Sungai Penchala river basin including Friends of Sungai Penchala, Sahabat Komuniti Sungei Way, Joint Management Board Blok 1 Desa Mentari, Sahabat Hijau Blok 1, and Indah Water Konsortium Shah Alam (IWK), successfully cleaning-up 400 metres of the river. Resulting from the river clean–up effort, 385kg of rubbish in which 273kg of wet waste and 112kg of recyclables were collected during the three-hour session.
The river clean-up session is one of the many initiatives driven by SPARK Foundation through its flagship programme, the W.A.T.E.R Project, which was launched in 2007. Since its inception, the project has adopted five rivers, including Sungai Way, successfully upgrading the river water quality from Class IV-V to Class III in 2009, making the river habitable to aquatic life.
In 2018, the project evolved from river rehabilitation to focus more on watershed health protection through two approaches – water conservation and improving water quality. Some of the flagship initiatives of the project are its water conservation workshop, along with the distribution of water thimbles. To date, 920 water thimbles have been distributed to close to 1,000 Malaysians, and is proven to reduce water consumption of 20 litres per person daily. The 3-month pilot project involving 50 households in Petaling Jaya has proven to reduce morethan 100,000 litres of water monthly.
Renuka Indrarajah, Trustee of SPARK Foundation said, “One of SPARK Foundation’s visions is to grow with the local community through water and river conservation programmes. Through SPARK Foundation’s W.A.T.E.R. Project, RM10.5 million have been allocated till 2020 under the water stewardship agenda. Recently in May, SPARK Foundation led a reforestation effort in Raja Musa Forest Reserve as part of their watershed health protection efforts. There, we have replanted one hectare of trees to preserve the peat swamp. Through public private partnerships and high-impact programmes, we strive to practice sustainable water management and an efficient use of our water resources, supporting the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
This river clean-up session is carried out in partnership with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Selangor (DID Selangor), Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS), Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, and Indah Water Konsortium Shah Alam.
Dr. K. Kalithasan, GEC River Programme Manager said, “I would like to thank the local communities for showing their continuous support by coming together for this special occasion. It is important for us to educate individuals in understanding the significance of river protection and keeping our drains clean. 90% of our raw water supply comes from these rivers, yet only 46% of our rivers remain clean. As a shared public resource, everyone should think twice of what goes down our drains as these substances could potentially end up polluting our rivers. With this river cleanup session organised by SPARK Foundation, we hope to promote a sense of awareness among volunteers on the influence they can have on the environment and leave today feeling inspired to take charge in caring for our rivers.”
Goh Jian Bin, a volunteer from Sri Petaling said, “I’m glad to have taken part in this session and help contribute back to the community. I have learned a lot from this session, especially on how vital river health is to our communities and to appreciate my surroundings more. For instance, I’ll be sure to be remember not to discard cooking oil down my kitchen sink as these substances flow to the river and could suffocate the aquatic life that inhabit it. The event has also motivated me to share with my family and friends on the importance of managing our waste correctly to mitigate river pollution.”
For more information on SPARK Foundation’s activities, visit our website at
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About SPARK Foundation
SPARK Foundation, the corporate social responsibility of Heineken Malaysia Berhad was established in 2007 to support initiatives in the areas of environmental conservation and education. The Foundation’s vision is to grow with its local communities through water and river conservation programmes, and create learning opportunities for future generation through strategic partnerships for a better tomorrow.
Since 2007, the Foundation has rehabilitated 5 rivers through public private partnerships in Selangor and Perak and have built 8 alternative water supply solutions such as rainwater systems and gravity in Sabah and Selangor. The Foundation has reached and engaged 40,000 Malaysians to date through it environmental conservation programme. Under its education programme, the Foundation has contributed more than RM6million to equip 580 teachers from vernacular schools with lesson plans and tools to make learning English engaging and fun.
SPARK a change by signing up now as a partner at www.sparkfoundation.com.my
About Global Environment Centre
Global Environment Centre was established in 1998 to work on environmental issues of global importance. The Centre is registered in Malaysia as a non-profit organisation but works regionally and internationally both directly and through many partners. It supports information exchange and capacity building as well as undertakes strategic projects particularly in developing countries. It works in partnership with other like-minded agencies worldwide. It has been appointed by ASEAN Member states as a technical and operational; support partner of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy 2006-2020 (APMS) and has been working on peatland management and rehabilitation in Malaysia since 1998.
The Selangor State Government through the Selangor State Forestry Department (SSFD) has been working with GEC to protect and rehabilitate peat swamp forests in Selangor since signing a MoU in 2010. The main objective of this MoU is to enhance conservation of peat swamp forests in Selangor and reduce the risk of peatland fires and haze. It will facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration involving the state government, private sectors and local communities to manage nearly 100,000ha of peat swamp forests in Selangor.
For more information on the Global Environment Centre please visit www.gec.org.my
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