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Heineken Malaysia Brings Clean Water to More Than 5,000 Villagers

19 January 2019, KOTA KINABALU – Heineken Malaysia Berhad (HEINEKEN Malaysia) and its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm SPARK Foundation, launched alternative water supply solutions in three villages which consists of a gravity water system in Kota Marudu and rainwater harvesting system in Keningau and Kota Belud in collaboration with a local radio station, Kupikupifm.

In line with the state government’s efforts in developing infrastructures for the locals, HEINEKEN Malaysia cements its commitment through its corporate responsibility initiatives in Sabah. The newly built gravity water system in Kg. Gana, Kota Marudu will channel water from a nearby stream to two units of 800-gallon storage tanks. The water will then be purified, suitable for consumption, and accessible for use by all the villagers. On the other hand, the newly built rainwater harvesting systems in Kg. Minawo Seberang, Keningau and Kg. Sinopukan, Kota Belud will have two units of 800-gallon water storage tanks each, providing additional water supply to the villagers.

YB Datuk Christina Liew, Deputy Chief Minister and State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah, who officiated the event, said, “The State Government of Sabah has put in place a comprehensive plan that prioritises the development and provision of water supply in Sabah. Our focus this year is to drive growth for the people, and our aim is to improve quality, coverage, and supply of treated water to rural areas across the state of Sabah. We hope by increasing water supply capacity and providing access to potable water particularly in remote villages across the state, the people of Sabah will be able to enjoy access to clean water to carry out their daily routines.

“I would like to thank all the project partners especially HEINEKEN Malaysia and SPARK Foundation for their contributions in supporting the growth of Sabah. I urge other companies and organisations to emulate their great work,” she added.

Renuka Indrarajah, Corporate Affairs and Legal Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia and Trustee of Spark Foundation said, “Over the past 11 years, HEINEKEN Malaysia through SPARK Foundation has invested approximately RM8.5 million in driving water projects in Malaysia. The W.A.T.E.R Project, a partnership initiated with non-governmental organisations, local government agencies, and local communities, to raise awareness on the importance of river and water conservation has proven successful. In Peninsular Malaysia, we have adopted six rivers in Selangor and Perak and engaged more than 40,000 Malaysians to take charge of the most important water resource. The focus in East Malaysia on the other hand, is to increase access to potable water. We have been working with the communities in East Malaysia in the areas of environmental conservation and education outreach programme since 2012, in particular, bringing clean water to the people of Sabah.”

To date, five rainwater harvesting systems and one gravity water system have been built, providing access to a combined total of an estimated 2.8 million litres of potable water for more than 5,000 villagers in six villages across Sabah. As part of capacity building and ongoing effort to fully optimise these systems, beneficiaries will be trained to maintain these systems through close supervision of a technical expert.

In line with HEINEKEN Malaysia’s commitment to protecting water resources, the organisation partnered with Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia (SIROM) to continually engage with villagers to provide training and educate them on water sanitation and conservation. SIROM has been actively working with the local communities and authorities to establish two acres of land for the organic farm in Kg. Gana, Kota Mardu.

“The establishment of the organic farm is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019. The identified areas are located behind the primary school (SK Gana), behind the Surau, and behind the Klinik Desa and are expected to add up to approximately two acres of land for organic farming. The organic farm supports Projek Agropolitan, which was launched in Kg. Gana in 2013 by the state department to improve the livelihood of the people of Sabah, provide extra income to the villagers, and further enhance their quality of life,” said Dr. Saradha Narayanan, President of SIROM.