Although schools are aware on the importance of rivers as a water source, however they are not exposed to river protection or management due to lack of knowledge or suitable programmes organised to expose the students. Through the RIVER Ranger Programme students will be taught to experiment with our rivers and learn more on their management and the needs.
The activities will involve educating the schools on why and how to take ownership of their local river and how to initiate local action that will create significant improvement to the river’s water quality and its environment. This may lead to establishment of additional river ranger groups or support for river clean-up or monitoring activities. This training will provide an overview/concept of integrated river basin management and will involve practical field training that exposes the communities to the real situation at hand, and teaches them how to monitor water quality using 3 different methods: physical, chemical and biological indicators. The one-day training session is expected to enhance community awareness on water and river issues and educate them on how to be the eyes and ears of their local river.
The challenges anticipated on the schools involvement on this project are on how:
To address and solve their school and nearby community’s river and solid waste management issues.
To enhance the students understanding and participation on river and solid waste management.
To reduce their footprints (water/waste) which are directly or indirectly polluting the river
Approximately 12 schools will be invited to attend the proposed programmes; RIVER Ranger and Training of Trainer (ToT) (2013). After the completion of the Training of Trainer (ToT), the schools will be asked to propose an action plan to be implemented in the school/surrounding areas. Best schools will be selected to be funded and technical support will be provided for the schools to implement their action plans. They will then be evaluated from their performance, achievement and commitment in implementing the proposed action plan. Throughout the implementation stage, the schools will be evaluated for their performance and achievement.
The training of trainer will be focusing on training the students and teachers as leader and trainers, so that they will be able to return to their respective schools and train the rest of their schoolmates. By doing this, it will give the students a feeling of ownership and responsibility towards the project, which will help to ensure its sustainability. The training targeted for the students are includes:
River monitoring and reporting
Art of waste reduction; composting, nature craft, enzyme juice, organic garden, used cooking oil initiatives
Website, blogs and online monitoring as well as reporting
Following the training session, other activities such as cleanup, river walk, pollution mapping, and river bank beautification will be conducted along the proposed river under this programme. These activities will be useful in understanding where the source of pollution comes from and the effects of river pollution and how it affects the basin as a whole. School centred initiatives, focused on the actions of school communities ‘by making a difference by changing their daily habits. On-going technical support will be provided to the schools focusing on their initiatives for e.g. focus on promoting recycling, nature craft and also reducing the amount of solid waste that reaches the drains and river. Support will also allocate to encourage the establishment of recycling and composting initiatives.
Sg.Kinta River Education Programme
Sg. Kinta River Education Programme is a project to highlight the importance of river and provide the knowledge and capacity to the local community to take ownership of their local rivers. The overall objective of this project is to protect and enhance Sg. Kinta, urban river through community ownership and engagement. To initiate a river education and monitoring programme within the project area and the targeted group, RIVER Ranger Training of Trainers, SMART Ranger Activity during Co-Co Days and Schools follow up Activities were carried out.