RCE Kuching - 2019

'A River for Everybody' - A River Water Quality School Project
Basic Information
Title of project : 
'A River for Everybody' - A River Water Quality School Project
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Kuching
Contributing organization(s) : 
UCSI University, Sarawak River Board, Natural Resources and Environment Board Kuching, RCE Kuching Youth Ambassadors
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Azizan bin Yatim
Organizational Affiliation: 
UCSI University
Mukvinder Sandhu
Organizational Affiliation: 
UCSI University
Format of project: 
Proposal, manuscript
Language of project: 
English, Bahasa Malaysia
Date of submission:
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Additional resources: 
Previous research on water quality
Geographical & Education Information
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Address of focal point institution for project: 
UCSI University Sarawak Campus
Lot 2976, Block 7 Muara Tebas Land District, Sejingkat 93450 Kuching, Sarawak
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The schools and communities concerned are situated at the main tributary of the Sarawak River - the Sarawak River (Kiri). The tributary is the main source of water for Kuching City and its suburbs. The source of livelihood is mainly fishing, tourism and farming.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
As the main water source for Kuching, the Sarawak River (Kiri) has always been subject to pollution. Nearby villagers often treat the river as a 'rubbish dump', there is illegal dumping of waste, raw sewage discharge and various developments such as the construction and completion of the Bengoh Dam upstream, to ensure water supply to Kuching and its surrounding areas up to 2030.
July, 2019
The proposed project is conducted to initiate positive behaviours amongst members of the society in river conservation efforts. The relatable application of science amongst school students would be a welcome change, both by the schools and the community members, as it is in line with Malaysia's current direction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This initiative would also cement RCE Kuching which is fairly new and its members as the forerunners and experts in river conservation efforts specifically in Kuching, and Sarawak, in general.
The goals of the program are:
- ignite passion for scientific enquiry through applicable use of science
- change perception of river conservation by promoting meaningful and relatable awareness amongst the riverine school students and the communities
- gain community's trust, commitment and support for future RCE Kuching projects in the same targeted area
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The project will involve the RCE Kuching youth ambassadors as the main implementers. RCE Kuching members and experts will work in the background offering the advice and expertise in completing the relevant tasks. There are two parts of the project:
1. Students will carry out hands-on activities related to the 'Why are Rivers important' theme. Activities suggested are drawing and colouring for primary school students, and mindmapping and storyboarding for the secondary school students.
2. Students will then carry out simple tests on their rivers (Semedang River and other nearby rivers) to collect samples and conduct tests on these samples. The nature of the testing and the related testing kits are being confirmed.
Size of academic audience: 
approximately 100 - 150 rural students
The following results are expected:
- students who are aware and keen on river conservation
- instigate positive paradigm shifts within the school communities on how they can be positive agents of change in how their communities interact with the rivers
- receive stronger support for follow-up and future projects with the same communities
Lessons learned: 
Project yet to be implemented
Key messages: 
This will be one of the RCE's pioneer projects in the targeted areas. It will the first step towards working with the communities and schools in the area. Through the project, awareness on rivers conservation will be introduced. This will be part of the continual effort of educating the targeted communities on river conservation.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Another program under the RCE - the 5R Campaign targets the same five schools in the area. These schools are situated within the vicinity of the Sarawak Kiri River.
Being finalized. Funding will be sought from two sources:
-The member of parliament of the targeted area
-Sarawak River Board
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Traditional Knowledge  
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth