27th May 2023 –Water Watch Penang (WWP) successfully organised a river and water education programme for Smith & Nephew Operations Sdn Bhd’s first-ever Family Day at the Penang Botanic Gardens on 27th May 2023.

A total of 30 employees and their family members participated in the programme from 9.00 am to 12.30 pm. WWP Executive Manager Dr Hong Chern Wern served as the programme’s lead facilitator with assistance from four other facilitators, Ms Puteri Nur Atiqah Bandira, Ms Ong Ke Shin, Ms Adeline Chong Neian and Mr Sharvind Sivan, the Comms Intern, Ms Lee Tze Ee and volunteers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Roots & Shoots Malaysia (RASMA) and SK Bukit Gambir, Penang.

The programme is an interactive and hands-on practical river activity which aims to educate the participants about rivers and water on a global, regional, and local level, and the essential role of rivers as one of the water resources.

ESG Committee Member at Smith & Nephew Operations Sdn Bhd Ms Hng Lee Ying commenced the programme by welcoming the employees and their family members, followed by a talk from Dr Hong in which he outlined Penang’s water issue and the importance of water conservation to the participants.

The river activity was separated into two sessions. The first session was the physical and chemical assessment which is to analyse the quality of the river water, including measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, phosphate, nitrate, and nitrite. The second session was the biological assessment which is to determine the Biological Water Quality Index by using the catch and release method to compute the number of macroinvertebrates species found. The participants were divided into four groups with a facilitator each to guide them on the assessments.

After the calculation and comparison among the four groups, it was concluded that the river at Penang Botanic Gardens is a class II river which is considered a clean river. Some macroinvertebrates species found living in the river were river shrimps, dragonfly nymphs and damselfly nymphs. The highlights of the findings were stonefly nymphs and cased caddisfly larvae which indicate extremely clean river conditions due to their low tolerance of polluted rivers.

For more information, please get in touch with WWP Executive Manager, Dr Hong Chern Wern, at hong.wwp@gmail.com or contact WWP at +60 19-575 1253.

Dr Hong briefed the participants about the biological assessment before they enter the river.
Participants used the catch-and-release method to compute the number of macroinvertebrate species found in the river.
Participants were analysing the quality of the river water by measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, phosphate, nitrate, and nitrite.
One of the facilitator, Ms Adeline Chong were guiding the children on how to conduct the chemical assessment on the river.
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