WEDNESDAY, 03 OCTOBER - About 40 community members from Kampung Ovai and Kampung Kambizaan and students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St Mary spent their last Saturday morning partaking in river water quality monitoring.
The community empowerment training was organised by Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC) from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in partnership with Global Environment Centre (GEC).
This workshop was organised under ITBC’s Outreach Programme @ Tagal System Garamatoi River, funded by the National River Care Fund (NRCF).
The half day workshop was aimed to raise awareness and empower the local communities and students to protect their local rivers and also to celebrate World Rivers Day 2018.
The World Rivers Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday of September. Begun in 1989 in British Columbia, Canada; World Rivers Day is a day to raise public awareness and promote the preservation and conservation of rivers around the world.
Dr. Arman Hadi Fikir, Project Leader of Outreach Programme @ Tagal System Garamatoi River who was present to launch the workshop thanked NRCF for funding the programme and Professor Dr Monica Suleiman, Acting Director of ITBC for full support given throughout the outreach programme.
“Improper sewerage system, uncontrolled hill-cutting and irresponsible littering are the main issue of degradation of river basin and its water quality. We have to tackle these problems to ensure healthy aquatic ecosystem which has direct relation to human well-being” said Dr. Moh Pak Yan, Head of Water Research Unit of UMS
Participants were seen getting their feet wet looking for aquatic insects underneath river rocks and at the river banks that indicate the health of Garamatoi River and taking water sample to test the river water quality using YSI ProDSS Multiparameter water quality meter.
To make the workshop more interesting, various fun educational games on river and freshwater ecosystem were also organised for the participants.
Leonardo Jainih; one of the ITBCs’ postgraduate student and the project coordinator for Outreach Programme @ Tagal System Garamatoi River said he will keep in touch with the villagers especially participants from water quality and aquatic insect training to monitor their progress and keep giving support in educating them about the significant of having clean river system.
Based on the data collected, the water quality of Garamatoi River is in good condition categorized under Class 1 according to Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia (INWQS).
Source: Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation