This week Grade 7 students welcomed Dr Marc van Loo, the director of Loola Eco Resort in Bintan (Indonesia) and Safe Water Gardens.
Marc spoke to our students about the importance of environmental sustainability with the message that we must work together to find solutions that benefit everyone. He shared that the Loola resort is:
His resort has shown that sustainable 'eco' business can be successful and profitable. He shared simple tips with our students on how to embrace and experience sustainable living, including 'voting with their wallets' and having a family power bill challenge.
Marc has been working with low-income communities. He shared, that some local families have an average monthly income of SGD $300 and many families have only SGD $80 a month to spend on food. On top of this, local children are constantly suffering from health problems resulting from exposure to poor sanitation. To tackle this issue, Marc and his team came up with a great idea and launched a Safe water garden system in Bintan. This system was designed to improve health issues, create a safe household environment and provide an opportunity for local people to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables.
So how does it work? This smart system collects sewerage and grey water under the ground and then flows into a special tank before filtering the water back through layers of gravel into a vegetable garden. Marc and the team have installed nearly 500 safe water gardens in Bintan so far, vastly improving the quality of life of people in Bintan communities.
Our students were greatly impressed with what they discussed with Marc. Many of our students had visited Loola resort when they were in Grade 5. They helped to build a Safe Water Garden and feel a very strong connection to the project and the people they helped.
Safe Water Gardens is our grade level focus for service as action. We will soon embark on our investigation phase to learn more about safe water gardens and the best way we can take action to tackle the issue of clean water and sanitation in our neighbouring country.