Over 2000 people enjoyed a fun-filled day at the Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (W.A.T.E.R) Project’s fourth river carnival in Ipoh recently. Themed ‘Source of Life’ it was held at Sungai Kinta Riverfront on Sunday, September 28. Participants from all ages took part in activities aimed at creating awareness on protecting and conserving the country’s key source of life: our rivers.
Held in conjunction with World Rivers Day, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, Executive Councillor for Health, Local Government, Consumer Affairs, Environment, Transportation and Non-Muslim Affairs, Dato’ Ir Abdul Razak bin Dahalan, Director of Department of Irrigation and Drainage and Dato’ Saw Choo Boon, Chairman of W.A.T.E.R Project were present to mark the first and biggest celebration of river and water conservation in Perak.
The rehabilitation of Sungai Kinta began in 2012 following the success of a similar project in Selangor. To date, the initiative has been successful in reaching out to 41 schools, 18 communities and 10 local businesses in the state. The project is almost 60 per cent completed.
“With almost a hundred per cent of Malaysia’s water supply derived from rivers, proper management and protection is needed to ease the pressures in the coming years as our country’s population increase and water demands rise due to economic development, industrialisation and urbanisation. Hence, working with the W.A.T.E.R Project is crucial to raise awareness on the importance of river conservation to a wider audience. This River Carnival is a prime example of such activities,” said Dr Mah.
To encourage and foster the practices of river and water conservation, the River Carnival’s activities combined education, entertainment and fun-packed exercises to develop a “green” mind-set for sustainable water conservation in our daily lives.
Highlights were the River Hunt that required teams to solve puzzles and complete water and biodiversity-related tasks while the Young River Scientist Workshop turned children into scientists for the day. A total of 112 children participated in the Young River Scientist Workshop while 202 people participated in the River Hunt.
Participants also enjoyed activities such as face painting, caricature art, upcycling workshop and others throughout the day. The success of the event was evident through the responses shared by visitors.
Lola Abeysekera, 52, from Ipoh Garden East said, “It’s indeed a fun day with many educational activities for my family. The upcycling workshop was very interactive – I didn’t know you could make coin pouches using plastic bottles!”
The initiative was made possible by the efforts of the W.A.T.E.R Project and its partners – Global Environment Centre, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Perak, Ipoh City Council, LA21, Department of Environment, Department of National Unity and Integration, Department of Orang Asli Development, Perak Water Management Authority, Polis Di-Raja Malaysia and Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites.
For more information on the W.A.T.E.R Project visit www.waterproject.net.my.