University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS)

This research enabled 38 homes in a rural village in Malaysia to have water supply. Many technologies for acquiring water supply have already been documented but it is often not modified sufficiently enough, leaving 14% of humanity with a severe lack of water. This paper describes a unique situation of solving the water scarcity for this village with technologies which may be adopted by villages.

Examples of these are how to connect to the pumps over 120m, the type of pipes which are most suitable and methods to prime the pump and to prevent air locks. The final system is a 3Ø, 4 HP pump placed near the river on two floats. This pump will push water up 120m horizontally and 9m vertically up to the Pump House located in the center of the village just behind the Community Hall. A smaller 3Ø, 1 HP pump will pump water from the Pump House to the individual homes. Once water woes has been solved, various economic activities are introduced because it was noticed that a lack of water has demoralized the villagers, especially the youth in achieving their full human potential.

Project Result(s) / Impact(s) 

This research project which was valued at MYR45,000 provided the main need for the 180 villagers of Abit village. The quote from a standard vendor to do this job is MYR1,000,000. Projects such as these should be a focus of university researchers in underdeveloped or developing countries. University funds for enhancing the latest gadgets should be reduced and focused on these kinds of projects. It is hard for lecturers in developing countries to compete with the lecturers in more advanced countries on gadget improvements where huge multinationals are supporting the university’s research. Too often, universities in developing countries attempt to work on the leading edge technologies by purchasing equipment which are already a few generations old at the onset from fabricators (like microchip manufacturers). So it is better to let researchers in more advanced countries work on the high end research in electronics while the researchers in developing countries help to alleviate the problems of the poor who have scarcity of water and food. This is also the best way to get the FYP (final year project) students to actually use engineering knowledge completely and not in a compartmentalized manner as with high tech research. This may even encourage some engineering students from advanced countries to move to developing countries for their FYP. Historically, numerous technologies have been used to acquire water for the livelihood of people. Most of these are documented but are not sufficiently modified to satisfy the needs of particular communities like the Abit Village. This is one reason 14% of the human population on earth have insufficient access to water [16].

The tagline for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) is “Leaving No One Behind.” Please explain how the nominated project helps to realize and advance the commitment of UNSDGs for the future. Highlight any other SDG(s) that your project has directly or indirectly created positive impact to people and society 

There are great people who live with very little physical wealth but without a spiritual mind to handle that, most humans cannot handle poverty well. The demoralization of poverty leads people to get involved in bad habits from which they cannot get out of, a vicious circle. As one philosopher said, “you cannot teach humans any high ideals until you have overcome their thirst and hunger.

Share this page

Other winners

Jeffrey Cheah Foundation

Project Title: Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF)Duration: 1997 till presentLocation: Sunway City Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) is committed to democratizing quality education. In 2010, the Sunway Education Trust Fund was officially


The Long Tanid Micro Hydro is a community-based project. This model has been develop and refine by Tonibung for the last 20 years. Tonibung together with the help of the