Heineken brings clean water for over 5,000 villagers


Roland (right) presenting a souvenir to Christina as the other invited guests look on.

KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has lauded Heineken Malaysia Berhad and its corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm Spark Foundation for launching alternative water supply solutions in three villages in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apfal said the water supply solutions would consist of a gravity water system in Kota Marudu and rainwater harvesting systems in Keningau and Kota Belud, in collaboration with local radio station Kupi-Kupi FM.

“Today, we witness Spark Foundation’s commitment translated into a milestone as the newly built gravity water system will provide clean water access to 450 households in Kg Gana, Kota Marudu while the rainwater harvesting systems in Kg Minawo Seberang, Keningau and Kg Sinopukan, Kota Belud will benefit 30 households.

“In total, we will see approximately 3,000 people enjoying increased access to potable water for consumption,” Shafie said in his speech delivered by his deputy Datuk Christina Liew at the ‘Bringing Water To Communities In Sabah’ ceremony yesterday.

Shafie said that the State Government had prioritised the development and provision of water supply in Sabah; its focus is to drive growth and improve quality for the people – believing that Sabah would soon enjoy sufficient potable water supply.

“I am glad that change has slowly embarked on this beautiful state and progress it is evidently positive. I would like to thank Heineken Malaysia and its CSR arm, Spark Foundation for their commitment in continuously growing with enriching the lives of communities in Sabah, which is manifested in their many environmental conservation and education programmes since it expanded to East Malaysia in 2012,” Shafie added.

Shafie pointed out that Spark Foundation, together with Kupi-Kupi FM, had also previously worked together on building rainwater harvesting systems for communities in Kg Nagasiba in Bahang, Kg Koidupan in Penampang and Kg Pinawantai in Kudat.

In addition, the two companies had also worked and partnered with Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia (Sirom) in engaging with the locals to educate them on sanitation and water conservation as well as how to build organic farms.

“For the organic farm, I was made to understand that Sirom has been actively working with the local communities and authorities to establish two acres of land for this activity.

“Through this, Sirom will work alongside the villagers of Kg Gana in Kota Marudu to carry out the organic farming, which will subsequently provide a sustainable source of livelihood for the local communities in terms of food for consumption and to earn income,” Shafie disclosed.

To date, five rainwater harvesting systems and one gravity water system have been built, providing access to a combined total of an estimated 2.8 million litres of potable water for more than 5,000 villages in six villages in the state.

Among those present in the event were Managing Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia Roland Bala, President of Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia (SIROM) Dr Saradha Narayanan, Corporate Affairs and Legal Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia and Trustee of SPARK Foundation Renuka Indrarajah and Station and Programme Manager of Kupikupifm Lester Calvin Miol.