KOTA KINABALU: Water, despite being the source of living for people, is still not accessible in many parts of Sabah.
Thousands of villagers are still deprived of clean water supply and often depend on volunteers and non-governmental organisations to help provide them with this basic living necessity.
Breeze Malaysia was among those that came forward to help over a thousand villagers off Sabah’s interior Nabawan district get clean water supply.
Its Water Treatment Campaign, in partnership with Global Peace Foundation last year, whereby RM1 out of every detergent product sold was set aside for the project.
With the RM50,000 raised, they installed new water filtration systems for Kampung Nalasaran and Kampung Padang and a nearby school, SMK Sepulut.
More than 23 water filters were installed within these locations, benefitting 385 villagers and more than 700 students.
“We have been struggling for years over the issue of clean water. Now that we have the new water filter, we do not have to worry about this anymore.
“Thanks to Breeze Malaysia and Global Peace Foundation for their assistance” said a villager Sidin Andin of Kampung Padang.
Previously, the villagers relied on hilltop gravity-fed water for their daily use. Sometimes, they collected water from the hilltop using self-made pipes. The water gets very dirty during rainy seasons.
Meanwhile for SMK Sepulut, the school had to source for water from a nearby river for its dormitories, while students often had to buy drinking water from a canteen vending machine due to the lack of treated pipe water.
Unilever (Malaysia) Holdings Sdn Bhd marketing director Vincent Chong, said water was a fundamental need for every human and it was devastating to see that many still did not have access to clean drinking water.
“At Breeze, we want to be able to assist the communities in getting safe, treated clean water which will in turn encourage good health and hygiene practices,” he said.
“The water treatment campaign also stems from the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, a global commitment made by the company to help one billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020,” he said.
Chong thanked their customers and the Global Peace Foundation for making this possible.
In line with the installation, Breeze and Global Peace Foundation also provided training for the communities on the usage and maintenance of the water filters.
Global Peace Foundation chief executive officer Dr Teh Su Thye said the water filtration system was simple in design and easy to use.
It requires no electricity and comes with an ultraltration membrane cartridge to remove 99% of particles, bacteria and other microbial debris to allow clean, purified water of between 70,000-100,000 litres to last for several years.
“For people in these communities, they had to make do with the water source they can access to, regardless of quality and safety of the supply.
“Often the women had to carry heavy buckets of water for daily usage and drinking untreated water carries a lot of health risks such as water-borne diseases including cholera or diarrhoea,” she added.