Rakan Saintis Sungai programme offers students first-hand learning experience on water conservation 

Water is an essential element for life but many take it and wastewater management for granted. As part of its commitment to generate awareness of the importance of water conservation to protect and preserve water resources, Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM) has launched the Rakan Saintis Sungai (RSS) CCM programme, in conjunction with the state-level National Environment Day 2017 celebration in Perak.

Led by CCM’s Chemicals Division, the RSS programme is held in collaboration with the Perak Water Board and the Perak State Environment Department to equip programme participants with hands-on skills and knowledge that will empower them to take ownership of their actions toward the environment, particularly water resources.

Organised for the first time in Perak, the programme offers 80 students from secondary schools in Perak, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Seri Iskandar and Politeknik Ungku Omar the opportunity to gain invaluable on-ground experiences in natural settings beyond classroom walls that can help them to learn about the importance of natural resources especially waterways, from different perspectives.

During the four-day RSS programme, the students will participate in various activities including conducting water quality tests at Sungai Perak, visits to the Kampung Senin water treatment plant to learn about the importance of water treatment in providing clean water to the surrounding community, team building activities that revolve around environmental issues, and talks on water management and safety particularly on sanitation and safeguarding river water quality.

En. Anuar Kasim, Chief Executive Officer of CCM Chemicals said the RSS programme is the perfect platform for the students to acquire high quality learning experiences by developing their young inquisitive minds and critical thinking skills, and improving their problem-solving abilities to make the right decision in real-world situations.

“Taking the students outside the classroom helps them to better understand everyday problems facing the water industry and address the issues by learning daily examples of thinking skills such as analysing and evaluating data, and interpreting the results to draw sound conclusions,” said  Anuar.

“We are confident that the RSS programme will encourage the students’ interest in science and environmental conservation, and inspire them to be the new generation of environmental champions who will help young people enact change for a brighter future for our planet,” he added.

Dato’ Ir Mohd Yusof Mohd Isa, General Manager of the Perak Water Board said the RSS programme provides young people with fresh insights on the importance of safeguarding rivers and motivates them to be environmental heroes in their own community.

“Our collaboration with CCM and the Perak State Environment Department proves that such a private-public partnership can help to tackle environmental issues especially river conservation by educating local communities on how crucial it is to preserve water quality of the local rivers that play a vital role in our environment, economy and livelihoods,” said Dato’ Ir Mohd Yusof.

“Our rivers are assets to the community. This young generation of environmental stewards can contribute to conserving the rivers and respectfully maximise their potential benefits for tourism and the economy. I hope the RSS programme will encourage the students to learn as much as possible and continue to be lifelong conservationists,” he added. 

Tuan Haji Abdul Razak Haji Abdul Manap, Director of the Perak State Environment Department who was also present at the launch commended CCM and the Perak Water Board for co-organising the educational programme.

CCM’s RSS has involved schools across Perlis, Sabah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Penang and Johor, and reached out to over 1,800 students since it first began in 2010. RSS continues to nurture the young to care for the environment and aims to increase the number of participating schools as the programme grows.