UMK collaborates with Minerals and Geosciences Dept to build tube well and filtration system to provide stable supply

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) has constructed a tube well and alternative water filtration system at a cost of RM300,000 to address persistent supply disruption.

Its vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Razli Che Razak said the initiative was aimed at providing a sustainable solution to the problem affecting over 3,000 students, staff and faculty members.

He said UMK has been grappling with water supply issues across its three campuses in Pengkalan Chepa, Bachok and Jeli since it was established in 2006.

“Syarikat Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd has failed to supply sufficient clean water to meet the needs of our 9,000 students and 1,200 staff and faculty members.

“At our main campus in Bachok, 97% of the supply is from groundwater. This lack of clean water has affected basic needs like drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation, and significantly impacted their overall well-being.”

Razli said to mitigate the issue, the university was compelled to find its own solutions, adding that UMK collaborated with the Minerals and Geosciences Department for its tube well construction and filtration system project.

“We initiated the project in July 2020 and it was completed three days ago at a cost of RM300,000.

“We are proud that our underground water treatment system was built using in-house technology and expertise from our campuses,” Razli said, adding that the initiative ensures a reliable daily supply of clean water for the campus community.

He said it also successfully increased daily water production to 299,471 litres, surpassing the daily requirement of 249,837 litres.

UMK administrative staff Mustakim Mat Hussein said the initiative has addressed the turbidity and discolouration of groundwater caused by high levels of iron and manganese.

“Water extracted from underground sources often has a rusty appearance, rendering it unsuitable for consumption and other purposes.

“To address this, UMK developed the filtration system. This significantly contributed to alleviating the water supply crisis at our campuses,” he said.

UMK student representative council member for welfare and cost of living Suria Abdullah said the on-campus water situation was dire before the tube well and filtration system were built.

“It is not just about water scarcity but its quality too. Every time we turned on the tap, the water had a rusty colour and an odour. The water was unsafe to drink or cook with.

“So, we bought water at RM20 per carton from nearby shops. It was an unnecessary expense, especially for students who were struggling financially.”

Third-year animation student Thivyhaalakshmi Ganeson said: “Living on campus felt like we were constantly carrying the weight of water scarcity on our shoulders.

“Our basic tasks like laundry or even taking a shower were a luxury we could not always afford. We struggled with water shortage for years, and every day felt like a battle.

“But thanks to UMK’s initiative, we now have clean water all the time,” she said, adding that the university had previously initiated several measures to tackle the water supply issue.

These include awareness campaigns to promote water conservation, collaboration with local authorities to explore sustainable water sources, and temporary solutions such as water tankers during emergencies.

“We are now overjoyed to see students, especially those residing in the campus hostel, finally getting clean and reliable water supply. This project has brought relief and comfort to the students,” she added.