Visitors to Bukit Kiara can now learn about the importance of a natural river to the community and ecosystem at the Sungai Penchala Open Classroom in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
The river rehabilitation and conservation project by the Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) Foundation, in partnership with the Global Environment Centre (GEC), National Landscape Department (JLN), Malaysia Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), created an educational site for the local community to learn about river care activities.
The Open Classroom is a part of the Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (Water) Project in Selangor.
GAB Foundation trustee Renuka Indrarajah said it was important that the foundation expand the reach of the project to local communities.
“We hope through this open classroom, local residents and the community can understand the importance of clean water and will ensure the preservation of the water source in Bukit Kiara.
“Water is an essential part of our lives and it should be monitored and protected,” she said at the launch of the open classroom.
The event saw some 30 community members exploring the natural source of Sungai Penchala led by GEC River Care coordinator Dr Kalithasan Kailasam.
Participants were taken to a few spots along the river trail.
They were asked to identify the “first” drop of Sungai Penchala and listen to the sound of the stream. They also learned how to conduct bio-monitoring tests.
After the activities, participants were asked to identify some of the aquatic life in the river.
“Without using any scientific tests, we can determine the quality of the water if we see certain aquatic life in the river.
“This is how people check the water quality traditionally and Bukit Kiara is the perfect setting to train the local community on this technique,” said Kalithasan.
Also present were JLN federal park division director Ahmad Syaharuddin Kamaruddin and DID river basin management division director Mohd Said Dikon.
Since its inception, the Water Project has educated and engaged with more than 16,000 people to preserve key water sources around the country.