Safe drinking water for the needy

by Jessie Lim, originally posted on April 13, 2016


WATER sustains life and without it, nothing grows. Often, it is something we take for granted.

But imagine if there’s no clean water, or no water source at all – how then can we survive?

Leading charities from across South-East Asia have come together with a mission: to bring clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to the underprivileged population residing in the underdeveloped countries in the region.

Known as Asiawater Responsible Business Alliance, the group recently made a pledge at Asiawater 2016.

This initiative will see strategic partnerships between public and private companies, government agencies, and knowledge institutes involved in water technology as they work together to find ways to improve the well-being of specific communities.

The Asiawater Responsible Business Alliance is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project by United Business Media (UBM), and will undertake activities individually and collaboratively to provide access to clean water and sanitation to those in need.

Heading the Alliance is UBM Malaysia Asiawater 2016 adviser and former National Water Services Commission (SPAN) chief executive officer Datuk Teo Yen Hua.

“Water is life. Many of us tend to forget that there are still thousands of households in this region that don’t have basic water supply and proper sanitation facilities.

“We want to bring companies from across South-East Asia with similar objectives to work together,” explained Teo, adding that several programmes were being planned and would be rolled out soon.

UBM also organises the Water Series exhibitions in other Asean countries, and aims to showcase their programmes in those exhibitions.

Hopefully, the local authorities that are interested can learn from some of these programmes, Teo added.

UBM Malaysia co-chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Azumi Moha-med said that the initiative was UBM’s contribution to society.

“It is not so much of the commercial value that UBM will take away from a show (Asiawater 2016) like this, but it is also what we, and the exhibitors, can contribute to society. Asiawater has much to offer,” commented Mohd Azumi during the launch of Asiawater 2016.

Held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Asiawater 2016 is the ninth edition of Asiawater Expo and Forum, the region’s leading water industry event.

The expo and forum serves as a platform for water and wastewater solutions in the Asean region, and at the same time, provides a stream of business opportunities and a chance to network.

Policy makers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners came together to address challenges and opportunities in developing Asia’s water infrastructure.

The three-day event saw over 829 companies from 48 countries showcasing their latest technologies, solutions and expertise to 14,000 trade visitors.

Products and services featured include actuators, filters, fittings, meters, pipes, pumps, tanks, valves and water treatment.

There were also 11 international pavilions from countries such as Austria, China, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Singapore, Korea and the United States.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili was present to officiate at the launch of Asiawater 2016 which is supported by the Department of Water Supply (JBA), Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (JPS) and National Water Services Commission Malaysia (SPAN).

During the tour around the exhibition halls, he also witnessed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing: Ranhill Water Services Sdn Bhd with Canadian technology company Echologics LLC, and Fermetec Resources Sdn Bhd with Yunnan Water (Hong Kong) Company Limited.

The Water Series by UBM Asia will also take place in Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand.

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