Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste

by Reef Check Malaysia
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Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Transforming 1000 Lives through Waste
Destroyed Mantanani Homestay and eroded coastline
Destroyed Mantanani Homestay and eroded coastline

Welcome to 2023! We hope the new year has been going well for you.

For our friends in Mantanani Island, however, the end of last year left them little to be happy for in the new year. For 21 households, their lives were uprooted as their houses were destroyed by storms that hit the island multiple times. 

They were spared when the storm first hit early in the year, however, were not so lucky towards the end of the year. The houses on the coast suffered largely from the erosion of the coastline that is a direct effect of climate change. The islanders tried to salvage the situation by building a concrete wall along the coastlines but to no avail. The strong storms were the final nail in the coffin that led to the total destruction of their homes.

Having lost the roof over their heads, where can they stay now? The sites which used to be their homes are no longer safe even if they want to rebuild their house. These families are now advised to relocate inland - away from the coastlines for safety.

Some families have their lands belonging to their family for them to build on but some families aren't as fortunate. They would have to bear the cost of both building a new house and buying a land to build a house on.

This is where we implore your generosity, dear funders. The cost of one house is about $11,000 - a large amount to be borne alone by a family that was hit by calamity albeit being the most pressing issue to address.

Every dollar counts. Please help these families to rebuild their home.

21 families lost their homes
21 families lost their homes
The affected islanders would have to move inland
The affected islanders would have to move inland
Stronger storms and erosion are the main culprit
Stronger storms and erosion are the main culprit
Mantanani Island Homestay before being destroyed
Mantanani Island Homestay before being destroyed
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Installing solar power panels at MPRC
Installing solar power panels at MPRC

We have a little recycling centre on Mantanani Island, Sabah, called the Mantanani Plastic Recycling Centre (MPRC). All the collected waste will be sorted at the MPRC either to be sent to the landfill or recycled.

Aligning with our goal to make it sustainable, we embarked on a solar installation project for the MPRC. In August 2022, the solar system was installed. The solar system covers Reef Check Malaysia's building areas, i.e. the recycling centre and the Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) processing factory. However, it was not enough to power all of the machines. It was only sufficient to power fans, light bulbs, field offices, and several machines in the VCO building.

Recently, the solar system was upgraded, and it can now also power the Baler machine and the extruder machine used for recycling. This means that the MPRC is fully solar-powered!

Together, we can achieve great things. We thank you for being on this journey with us. Step by step, we will get far. Your kindness and continuous support will light the way.

Installation of the solar power at MPRC
Installation of the solar power at MPRC
MPRC is now fully solar powered
MPRC is now fully solar powered
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The boat full of trash is ready to go
The boat full of trash is ready to go

What does No Trash November mean? Does it mean that the island is finally all clear of trash and that the waste management issue is all gone?

Not quite.

No Trash November simply points to the fact that the trash that has been collected has been shipped off away from the island this month! This is the current solution for the lack of a proper waste management system on the island. The alternative i.e. having no waste management system/programme means all this trash will end up in the ocean.

From January until November 2022, a whopping 54,193kg of trash has been shipped off of Mantanani island to the landfill and recycling centre on the mainland. That's 54,193kg of food waste, plastic waste, plastic bottles, glass, tin and other trash saved from polluting the ocean!

With your help, locals can take matters into their own hands and handle the waste management issue of their beloved island. Locals can also earn an income from the waste management programme and educate themselves on the marine pollution issue and the recycling system.

With your help, the islanders' trash can be properly shipped off away from the island and processed and recycled in a proper facility.

You are making a difference in the lives and environment of the islanders.

You are saving the ocean, one boat of trash at a time.

We thank you and we hope for a continuous partnership between you, us and the islanders for the betterment of our ocean.

A local islander preparing trash to be shipped off
A local islander preparing trash to be shipped off
Recyclables sorted
Recyclables sorted
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Mrs Rasimah sees a change in the villager's habits
Mrs Rasimah sees a change in the villager's habits

Mantanani Island is a beautiful island with white sandy beaches. However, the island is facing a big issue - there is no proper waste management system.

Realizing this, we at Reef Check Malaysia have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that something is done to solve this problem. Hence, the waste management programme was born. The waste management programme has been around for a while now but has it achieved what it set out to achieve or is it just another shot in the dark?

We asked some of the villagers and here's what they have to say.

“I am grateful for the existence of this waste management programme. Because of it, I am able to be employed. Due to the pandemic, my husband lost his job. This programme has helped us to survive."

"On top of that, we, the villagers, are able to enjoy a clean island as opposed to the uncontrollable trash situation before. Previously, the villagers were littering freely. They were throwing trash such as chips packaging, plastic bottles and food packaging into the ocean."

"My hope is that one day, all the villagers will wholeheartedly support programmes of this kind and realize the importance of keeping the island clean in order for it to flourish. I also hope that the programme will continue as I believe that it really helps the island to stay clean and provide a source of income for the villagers.” - Rasimah

 Another villager, Normala also thanked you, our supporters and donors!

“I am truly grateful and would like to thank all the donors and Reef Check Malaysia. Because of this waste management programme, I am able to work and pay for my children’s education."

"We had an unstable income as my husband could not work due to several factors. I rely solely on my current income. I am actively involved in all the programmes that Reef Check Malaysia has organized as I would like to increase my knowledge. I, as an islander, feel truly lucky that the Reef Check Malaysia organization not only helps us keep the island clean but also gives us the opportunity to learn new things and gain experience. It is truly a priceless experience for me."

"Although I am disappointed that some villagers have yet to see the true value of this programme, I hope Reef Check Malaysia will continue their efforts and continue helping us.”

We are elated to know that the programme is helping to improve the lives of the community. And this is only possible with your help and generous donations. Together, we can make a difference.

Mrs Normala thanks you for your support
Mrs Normala thanks you for your support
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Mantanani Island ICC 2022
Mantanani Island ICC 2022

Reef Check Malaysia coordinates the nationwide The International Coastal Clean-up (ICC)Day for Malaysia every year. This year, the Mantanani Island community did not hesitate to join in.

The community was present, bright and early - earlier than the time set for the meet-up before the clean-up starts, clad in the last ICC's shirt. 20 adult villagers joined and 6 children - the future generations of the Mantanani Island, showed up for their beautiful island. The villagers worked hand in hand to clean up the area that they have chosen.

At the end of the clean-up, they found that the most types of trash collected were plastic bottles and food wrappers.

It is always the change in behaviour to taking their own initiative to do it that we strive for. We thank the Mantanani Island's community for their support and participation.

We also thank you, our funders and supporters for making things possible.

Mantanani Island's villagers - bright and early
Mantanani Island's villagers - bright and early
Plastic bottles ICC 2022
Plastic bottles ICC 2022
Villagers joining the clean-up
Villagers joining the clean-up
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Organization Information

Reef Check Malaysia

Location: Kuala Lumpur, WP - Malaysia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ReefCheckMY
Project Leader:
Theresa Ng
Kuala Lumpur, WP Malaysia
$2,225 raised of $8,000 goal
 
45 donations
$5,775 to go
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