20 August: Water Watch Penang (WWP), in collaboration with Majlis Bandaraya Seberang Perai (MBSP), has undertaken a river education programme with Bukit Mertajam High School students. A total of 28 secondary students, along with 2 teachers and 3 MBSP officers led by Puan Roslinda, took part in the programme.
Dr. Hong Chern Wern, the Executive Manager of WWP, led the event, which began with an introduction to the organization and a discussion of the global and local water crisis. Then, Dr. Hong educated the students on evaluating river water quality and strategies to preserve and save water, thus raising awareness among the younger generation in light of Penang’s excessive water use.
Mr. Sharvind, Ms. Abhi, Mr. Yee Jean Chai, and Mr. Hanson, four trained facilitators and volunteers, conducted the river water quality assessments. After dividing the students into three groups, the facilitators guided them to conduct physical (turbidity and river velocity) and chemical (pH, ammonia, phosphate, etc.) tests on the river water to determine any presence of contamination.
After that, the programme continued with the students’ most exciting activity, the biological assessment, where they were required to capture macroinvertebrates living in the river. The river water quality is determined by the calculation of the Biological Water Quality Index with the respective score of captured aquatic lives with the result of range from 5.1 to 7.5, implying the river water was rather clean. One group captured a river crab that had never been captured since the programme’s inception 25 years ago.
For more information, please contact Executive Manager, Dr. Hong Chern Wern at hong.wwp[at]gmail[dot]com