Networking Trip with UKM, Short River Education Programme at Taman Jajar, Pulau Pinang – 20th May 2024.

On May 20th, 2024, Water Watch Penang (WWP) hosted a successful short river education program for students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as part of their Networking Trip to Taman Jajar Sungai Ara. The program engaged a diverse group of participants, including nine UKM students, three international students from USM, and Dr. Ang Wei Lun, UKM Leader from the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering.

The program commenced with a warm welcome by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tan Mou Leong, Vice President of Water Watch Penang, followed by a brief overview of WWP’s crucial sustainability initiatives.

The heart of the program was an engaging hands-on session led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tan Mou Leong, assisted by WWP facilitators Puteri Nur Atiqah and Ms. Tew Yi Lin. Here, students actively participated in a comprehensive river monitoring exercise encompassing three key areas: physical assessment, chemical assessment, and biological monitoring.

During the physical assessment, students became keen observers of the river’s surroundings. They identified land use patterns, pinpointing potential sources of pollution. They also assessed water flow and clarity, gaining a deeper understanding of the river’s health. The chemical assessment involved practical exercises where students measured crucial water quality parameters. These included dissolved oxygen, pH levels, phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. By analyzing these parameters, students gained valuable insights into potential pollutants present in the water.

Finally, the biological monitoring session employed a catch-and-release approach. Students participated in identifying macro-invertebrates, tiny animals that serve as crucial bio-indicators of the river’s ecological health. This exercise provided a deeper understanding of the river’s ecosystem and its sensitivity to pollution.

By combining theoretical knowledge with real-world data collection and analysis, this program empowered students to become responsible stewards of their environment. The program’s success reinforces the value of experiential learning in fostering environmental awareness. Water Watch Penang’s dedication to education, as exemplified by this program, paves the way for a future generation of informed and empowered individuals committed to the sustainable management of Penang’s precious water resources.

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