Ipoh, Perak, 12 April 2021 – The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the economy negatively leaving many gasping for survival in this challenging time. Through Hasanah Special Grant 2020 (HSG2020), GEC has supported KRT Klebang Selatan to establish and manage a Tapioca Chips Processing and Selling Centre which also act as a One-Stop Centre (OSC) platform for urban farming, processing and marketing of community food products.
The Centre was launched earlier today by the Mayor of Ipoh, YBhg. Dato’ Haji Rumaizi bin Baharin @ Md Daud at the KRT Klebang Selatan Community Hall in a ceremony organised by the KRT Klebang Selatan together with Global Environment Centre (GEC) supported by Yayasan Hasanah, in partnership with Ipoh City Council (MBI), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Perak, Perak State National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN).
YBhg. Dato’ Haji Rumaizi bin Baharin @ Md Daud, Mayor of Ipoh in his speech said, “The whole world is facing a health crisis that has been impacting our economy greatly. Restriction of movements have to be implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 and of course, this has brought upon a shrinking economy and eventually affected the livelihood of the people. In Perak last year, we recorded an RM77.4 million deficit of expenses for the first time in 12 years. Various proactive measures have been taken to rebound the economic revenue of the Perak state including providing opportunities for small businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs to rise again. Therefore, I felt that the food production initiative by the KRT Klebang Selatan under the HSG2020 is a great initiative to support the economy of the local community through an alternative income as well as to be part of the ‘Buy Malaysia’ campaign to encourage consumers to buy Malaysian products.”
Puan Anita Ahmad, Head of Community Development of Yayasan Hasanah said, “The HSG2020 is an initiative by the Yayasan Hasanah, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance Malaysia, and as part of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) initiative aims to support social programs to improve the quality of life of the targeted groups such as the B40 communities, vulnerable communities and persons with disabilities or special needs to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ulu Kinta, we have partnered with GEC to implement the Empowering Community Livelihood in Upper Kinta Basin as part of the Post Covid-19 MCO Strategy programme to improve the economy of and create an alternative livelihood for peri-urban and urban communities located within Upper Kinta Basin. We cannot be more than happy to see that the grant has been able to empower the local communities at Klebang Selatan to be self-sustainable.
Mr Faizal Parish, Director of GEC said, “GEC has been supporting the KRT Klebang Selatan in the river monitoring activities and the establishment of a community garden as part of river care initiatives since the end of 2019 under the Integrated Management of Upper Kinta Basin UKB project. Unfortunately, the peri-urban communities in the Klebang Selatan, especially the B40 communities are amongst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic under our UKB project. Some of the communities are working in daily paid activities such as owning a business, sewing, contract works, construction labour and more which halted their source of income, especially during the MCO. Through the HSG2020, GEC has been able to empower the community to develop food products from their community garden including the processing and marketing through online platforms as part of the food security programme. As a start, the KRT Klebang Selatan has published their own Tapioca Chips Facebook page (facebook.com/kerepekubikayuyummy) and their product being sold at a petrol station in Bercham.”
The Empowering Community Livelihood in Upper Kinta Basin as part of the Post Covid-19 MCO Strategy programme is one of the projects currently being implemented under the Integrated Management of Upper Kinta Basin (UKB), which was initiated in 2018 aims to better manage the Upper Kinta River basin water resources. To appreciate the stakeholders who have been involved in the River Care Programme of UKB, a presentation of Certificates of Appreciation by the MBI was presented today to representatives of KRT, communities, NGOs and government agencies.
Video on initiatives by the KRT Klebang Selatan: https://youtu.be/DLZx3Cg4o9Q