Friday, March 22

CUP programme brings relief to water-deprived villages

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Villagers seeing improved rainwater harvesting system.

KUCHING: Around 200 people in Kampung Sion, Tapah now have improved access to clean water under the Communities Unite for Purewater (CUP) programme by Global Peace Foundation Malaysia.

According to a press statement by CUP, the initiative aims to uplift the welfare of rural and underserved communities through the provision of clean water.

To date, CUP has benefited over 4,256 people in 21 communities across Malaysia through technical solutions that improve access to water, filtration technology that provides clean drinking water, and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) training that increases knowledge and awareness of water management and hygiene.

Global Peace’s CUP project is one of the first eight projects selected for the Social Outcome Fund (SOF), a funding model by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) that seeks to drive funding for social intervention programmes by social-purpose organisations (SPOs) to address social issues.

This CUP project in Sarawak is funded by YTL Power and has provided 400 people in two communities namely Kampung Sion, Tapah and Kampung Semada Belatok, Serian with access to clean water.

“The project started in February, 2018 and will be completed by February 2019. The community in Sion mainly rely on rainwater and a river 300m away for their daily use and in recent years, however, the land upstream was developed for agricultural and industrial use, polluting the river that they bathe in which caused rashes to develop into open sores and scabs  to appear on their skin,” added the statement.

Realising this, the people of Sion turned to rainwater as their primary water source.

Still, water, especially drinking water, is scarce and they have to resort to buying water from town. With an average household income of RM800 per month (the lowest-earning family only brings in RM300 a month), every sen spent counts.

Global Peace subsequently reached out to Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus’ head of the School of Engineering Associate Professor Ir Dr Sim Kwan Yong for help in designing a more efficient rainwater harvesting system for each household in the
village.

A simple and efficient rainwater harvesting design that can cater for the needs of individual households was proposed.

“Engineering is about improving life. It is a great privilege to work with Global Peace to create positive social impact for the community at Kampung Sion,” said Dr Sim.