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NTU and Lien Foundation launch second second wave of Environmental Endeavor

The Lien Foundation (LF) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today announced their second thrust to bring clean water and sanitation to poor communities in the region with fresh funds, new expertise and partners, and an inaugural environmental fellowship programme.

The Lien Foundation is injecting a new sum of S$12m into the LFNTU Environmental Endeavour (Endeavour). Started in 2006, the Endeavour seeks to improve the living conditions of Asia's developing communities through technology-based developmental work. In the second phase of their cooperation, LF and NTU will sharpen the Endeavour's mission of providing innovative and sustainable solutions for those without clean water and sanitation in Cambodia, China and Vietnam. The Endeavour will be administered by NTU's Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), an eminent centre for water technologies.

Tapping the Grassroots Wellspring

Since its start, the Endeavour has reached over 200,000 lives through the work of Lien Aid, the Endeavour's international developmental non-governmental organization (NGO). Using innovative methods, Lien Aid has piloted new technologies and models of service delivery. They have initiated 38 projects across six countries (see Annex A), steadily earning the trust and recognition of local government officials at central and provincial levels. This is evident from the many joint programmes Lien Aid runs, where local officials, institutions and communities benefit from knowledge transfer and capacity building initiatives.

The Endeavour has also garnered some S$5.7m of external support from philanthropists, foundations, international NGOs, private sector enterprises and governments.

Spreading wings and planting roots

"We will intensify our efforts as a philanthropic pioneer in bringing clean water and sanitation to Asia's poor," said Mr Lee Poh Wah, Chief Executive Officer of Lien Foundation. "We aim to impact 1 million lives by 2013. Taking a market-based and community-driven approach, we hope to break down political, economic and cultural barriers for greater access to water & sanitation. To better understand and influence the local communities, we will continue to strengthen our regional offices and staff in Cambodia, China and Vietnam."

Water and environmental powerhouse

Led by Professor Ng Wun Jern, NEWRI Director, NTU will augment the Endeavour's efforts with the expertise, innovations, and resources of NEWRI - the environmental and water research and technologies powerhouse.

"NEWRI brings together a multi-disciplinary R&D team in environmental and water technologies (EWT). This ecosystem allows NTU to integrate its strengths and expertise and tackle environmental problems from different angles. Under the Endeavour initiative, NEWRI will coordinate the research and education in EWT and support applications through Lien Aid. Such seamless arrangement will ensure that a more sustainable and effective implementation of the projects," said Professor Ng.

Lien Environmental Fellowship Programme: from research to real world results

Under the Endeavour, LF and NTU will launch a new Lien Environmental Fellowship (LEF). The fellowship aims to seek innovative ideas from leading academia/researchers in Asia's developing countries in order to tackle today's water and sanitation challenges. These fellows must translate their ideas into successful solutions that can benefit their home communities. Lien Aid will also assist in the implementation. S$500,000 has been committed towards the LEF programme for each of the next four years.

NKF joins the Endeavour to help Vietnam

The latest partner to join in the effort is Singapore's NKF. NEWRI, Lien Aid and NKF have teamed up with Vietnam's Ministry of Health to improve the quality of water and patient care at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi. Vietnam's largest dialysis centre is in Bach Mai Hospital and everyday, it needs large volumes of high quality clean water for its patients' dialysis treatment. NEWRI will work with Lien Aid to improve the hospital's existing reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment system. NKF will share their know-how on the operations and maintenance of the RO water treatment system.


Contact: Esther Ang
Nanyang Technological University

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