Colgate Partners with Watsons Malaysia and Epic Communities to help Orang Asli Village “Save Water” with Redesigned Gravity-Fed Water System
Wanaz Merican, Legal Director of Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia shares: “It is undeniable that many of us still take easy accessibility to clean water for granted. In today’s modern households, it can be quite a challenge to comprehend the scarcity of clean water when it is just a tap away. To drive awareness on the importance of water conservation, we drive a global ‘Save Water’ movement on an annual basis to encourage everyone to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth. This simple act can save 15 litres of water, and we know every drop counts!”
Enabling Access to Clean Water
Set to provide sustainable, clean water solutions to the rural communities, together with Epic Communities and Watsons Malaysia, Colgate Malaysia visited Kampung Hulu Tamu at Batang Kali, home to approximately 60 orang asli families (population of 300) to provide sustainable clean water solutions through a refurbished gravity-fed water system located near a natural water source.
The villagers previously rely its water system located on high grounds, but often faced with difficulties such as regular pipe bursts and water disruption. Some villagers have resorted to constructing their own mini dam, but it is a luxury not many can afford. This led the villagers to get water from a river down south – a walk which may be dangerous and inconvenient for many.
Merican added: “Last year, our water conservation efforts successfully raised significant awareness of our cause, but we believe there is more to what we can do than just conserving water. Globally, we know that a child dies every 15 seconds due to water-related disease and with this thinking in mind, it brought about our renewed partnership with Watsons and a new one with Epic Communities, but this time to enable clean water that is accessible for all, especially the underprivileged communities such as those in Kampung Hulu Tamu.”
In conjunction with Colgate ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Future’ initiative, the team also distributed oral care kits to children, teaching them to cultivate good oral healthcare from an early age through a demonstration on effective brushing techniques.
Hand-in-Hand for Clean Water and Better Smiles
Watsons Malaysia, a key player and exclusive partner in Colgate’s ‘Save Water’ campaign, endeavours to educate Malaysians the implications of water conservation efforts. Caryn Loh, Managing Director of Watsons Malaysia elaborated: “As one of the largest retail pharmaceutical chains in Malaysia, Watsons is a keen believer of giving back to the community and environment to provide the most impactful change within the communities we are with. We believe we have a role to play in empowering and educate Malaysians to join our efforts in water conservation, through our partnership with Colgate.”
Part of the effort to promote awareness on the ‘Save Water’ campaign, Watsons Malaysia gave out a grand prize of 2,000 membership points to fans who shared water conservation tips on their Facebook page. Fans took part in the digital initiative and shared how they conserve water in their daily lives on Facebook, fueling the hashtag ‘#MySaveWaterTips’ with various creative ideas to approach water conservation.
Driving the campaign to greater heights, Epic Communities’ fundraising efforts have yielded RM54,000 for the project. Apart from refurbishing the gravity fed water system, the funds collected will be utilised to organise community meetings, project management consulting, and employment of skilled labour force.
“We are no stranger to such community work, due to our extensive experience in facilitating development especially for the orang asli in Malaysia. As such, when Colgate approached us for this project, we said ‘yes’ right away as we share their vision for this project. It brings us great pleasure to continue helping the orang asli community, and we hope for more collaborations in the future,” Johnson Oei, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Epic Communities said.
Apart from Epic Communities and Watsons, the Colgate “Save Water” campaign is also co-sponsored by Garden International School and Kolej MARA Seremban.