6 August 2022: Water Watch Penang has conducted a river education program in conjunction with South Island Garment Sdn Bhd’s CSR initiative. About twenty employees, together with their family members led by Mr. Lee Ming Yeaw, Admin/Facilities and HSE Manager, participated in the program.
Dr. Hong Chern Wern, began the session by introducing the staff to Water Watch Penang and followed by discussions about local water issues, including the recent water cuts in Penang caused by severe turbidity due to the Baling flood in Kedah. Participants were also informed of the significance of water conservation and water-saving practices, thereby raising their awareness. Then, Dr. Hong described the current state of rivers in Penang, which are largely polluted, and he expounded on how the application of physical, chemical, and biological approaches can assist in determining the contamination level of a particular river.
Next, the employees were divided into three groups, each assisted by a trained facilitator to demonstrate the river water quality assessments. Mr. Linges, Ms. Puteri, and Mr. Hanson were the facilitators who helped demonstrate the assessments for each group.
As part of the physical assessment, participants were guided to measure the river’s velocity, temperature, and turbidity in relation to neighbouring land use and vegetation. In addition, the participants learned how to use chemical tests, such as pH, ammonia, and dissolved oxygen level, to estimate the level of pollution in river water.
After a brief break, the program further proceeded with biological assessment, where the participants needed to perform ‘catch, identify, and release’ of the macroinvertebrates to determine the river water quality. Again, the participants were enthusiastic about catching those aquatic lives; most caught river shrimps, damselfly, and dragonfly nymphs. One of the highlights of the day was that a flattened mayfly nymph, which could only survive in a very clean river condition, was captured, indicating that the river is very clean. The assessment obtained a score of seven based on the biological water quality index, implying that overall the river was relatively clean.
Children brought by their parents participated enthusiastically in this program, and as a result, they were exposed to the significance of river and water conservation as well. The program concluded with a group photo and the macroinvertebrates they had captured.
Water Watch Penang would like to thank South Island Garment Sdn Bhd for their CSR donation towards the education work of Water Watch Penang.
Please contact Executive Manager, Dr. Hong Chern Wern for further information on CSR-related programs at hong.wwp[at]gmail[dot]com.