Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kampung Temasek

I have the privilege of being invited to Kampung Temasek (KT) located in Johor, Malaysia (near Ulu Tiram). It is designed to be an outdoors learning centre, open to school activities and corporate workshops.

On my part, I am checking it out as a potential location for my school's outdoor activities and a potential site for green projects. It turned out that they are looking at implementing a rainwater harvesting programme for their visiting groups. Currently, their huts are harvesting rainwater for toilet flushing but more can be done, especially when large groups go over and these large groups cannot fit into the huts. Also, rainwater can be used for more applications than just toilet flushing e.g. washing of dishes and hands. Naturally, washing of hands and dishes will require a better water quality compared to toilet flushing and irrigation so a treatment train will probably be needed. Of particular potential is their main hall which can be modified into a giant rainwater collection device.

Figure: 2 of the 6(?) huts. Notice the raised above ground architecture for ventilation and avoidance of floods. Also, check out the solar panel on the roof of the hut on the left. Unfortunately, solar power is limited due to the heavy cloud cover in the tropics. Rainwater is harvested for toilet flushing in each hut but in my excitement, photographing this unit has simply slipped my mind. (Side note: KT is still tied in to the grid and water supply for the area. Sanitation is provided by septic tank.)

Figure: The main hall with nice sloping roofs. Great for rainwater harvesting. We may not even need all 4 sides!

Figure: The kampung style of lighting

Figure: The eutrophic pond where students do their confidence jump together with ducks and geese

Figure: Our highlight of the day. 1 of 2 banana plants we transplanted to a location we believe to be more suitable than the original one. Partial shade, raised ground, soil is well drained yet still moist

Figure: A not so green practice. Solid waste is disposed by burning on site. Without municipal solid waste collection, this is a common practice in rural parts of Malaysia. A partial solution will be to compost the biodegradable waste, producing compost for the vegetable on site. But this idea MUST BE sold to the local caretakers on its merits in contrast to the extra work of composting vs. burning.

1 comment:

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