How corporates can help save our rivers?

United Nations reveals that one third of our population is currently living in water stressed areas and by 2030, nearly half of the population will live in high water stress areas. Malaysia is NO EXCEPTION.

Every stakeholder, the people and the government must take part to save our rivers and that includes corporate bodies.  So, how Corporates can help to save our rivers?

  1. Conduct CSR activities with local communities.

  2. Partner up with Recycle for Life programme to dispose recyclable wastes. Recyclable items collected can be exchanged with money credited into RFL’s smart card.

  3. Fund river conservation initiatives.

  4. Adopt ways to conserve water usage at the office. Check out our simple video on how to install water thimbles.

  5. Contribute to the National River Care Fund.

Read the article below.


River is our main source of freshwater. Healthy freshwater environments supply water for drinking, growing crops, manufacturing, energy and transportation for the people and the wildlife. Basically, water is very much needed in almost all aspects of our lives.

However, the United Nations  reveals that in a report entitled Human Development Report,  one third of our population is currently living in water stressed areas and by 2030, nearly half of the population will live in high water stress areas.

Malaysia is no exception. We are heading towards water crisis due to an increase in water demand with unmatched water supply, lack of river basin management and climate change, especially with the intensified El Nino-related droughts together with our growing population.

So, along with other environmental issues, water stress should be one of our main concerns. Hence, every stakeholder, the people and the government must take part to save our rivers and that includes corporate bodies. How corporates in Malaysia can help save our rivers?

1.    Conduct CSR activities with local communities

Local communities have the closest contact with our river addresses. Corporates can financially contribute to the communities to conduct river conservation initiatives.

For example, on 23 August 2017, about 500 communities from Kampung Kasipillay and employees from Maybank Risk Assessment Group volunteered on river cleaning exercises at Sungai Batu.  

Some activities carried out were cleaning the 800m stretch of the river and existing drainage system, beautification of the walking path, upgrading the river railing system as well as river education and monitoring.

2.    Partner up with Recycle for Life programme to dispose recyclable wastes.

Recycle for Life (RFL) is an initiative by Cenviro Sdn Bhd and MyKasih Foundation to encourage more people to recycle their waste and reduce our dependency on landfills.

RFL is a recycling buy-back system whereby all recyclable items collected can be exchanged with money credited into RFL’s smart card.

This initiative welcomes all corporations to be their partner. Both employees and the corporation may register for a smart card. They can also schedule pick-ups to collect and weight your wastes.

Image via E-Idaman

3.    Fund river conservation initiatives

River conservation initiatives are generally expensive and mostly carried out by non-profit organisations whose establishment is for the environment. Corporates can expand funding opportunities for these organisations to conduct a better and more river conservation activities.

For example, Global Environment Centre (GEC) is a non-profit environmental NGO based in Malaysia working on conservation activities. They run by projects and many of them are funded by CSR arms of corporate bodies. Through the funding, GEC is able to conduct various river conservation and rehabilitation activities with various community groups and local agencies.

These funding may not be limited to NGOs only. As an example, under the engagement of River of Life Public Outreach Programme Phase 1 (ROLPOP1), the residents of Rumah Pangsa AU2 formed AU2 Committee Rukun Tetangga and actively organise localised activities and programmes with central aims to raise awareness and capacity in recycling and river adoption. One profound example is the establishment of AU2 Community Garden.

Maybank (Group Risk) noticed their commitment and formed collaboration with the committee which allows their monthly activities such as river monitoring, urban gardening and gotong-royong to be financially supported.

4.    Adopt ways to conserve water usage at the office.

One of the ways to reduce water usage and save your water bill as well as our rivers is to install water thimbles in all taps and shower heads. It is a water conservation tool that can reduce water flow by 30% without compromising the pressure. Check out our simple video on how to install water thimbles.

Another way is to install water conservation signage around the office or circulate awareness materials on why water is important to be conserved. Indirectly, they become a constant reminder for the employees which may improve their water consumption behavior.

Image via EdgeProp

5.    Contribute to the National River Care Fund

The National River Care Fund (NRCF) is an initiative established by Global Environment Centre (GEC) under its long term national programme as part of its commitment to support efforts made by interested groups to care for the environment and river. Interested groups include Community based organisations such as resident association (RA), Kawasan Rukun Tetangga (KRT), JKKK, non-profit organisations, learning institutions and special interest groups delivering projects concerning river and water conservation.

The key objective of NRCF is to establish and encourage a river care civil society that has the capability to contribute and demonstrate the best management practices of River Care in Malaysia. Corporate bodies are encouraged to contribute to the Fund and all contributions are fully tax deductible.

To conclude, the rivers may not directly involved in your life but they are indirectly and importantly involved in almost all aspects of our lives i.e. our daily activities that require water consumption. Hence, it is important for every stakeholder to take action in conserving our rivers, be it small steps or big steps.

On a side note, GEC as the implementing agency of ROLPOP5 is calling all corporates interested to take river conservation initiatives especially in the River of Life area to partner up with us. Please contact Ms Tsia Mun Kaik at +603 7957 2007 or email at tsiamunkaik@gec.org.my   .

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