Communities, wholesale market workers partake in a clean-up activity to reduce Sungai Jinjang pollution

KUALA LUMPUR: About 150 immigrant workers from Kuala Lumpur wholesale market together with local communities partake in a clean-up activity at KL Wholesale Market, organised under the River of Life Public Outreach Programme Phase 5 (ROLPOP5). Being held for the first time with the immigrant workers, the event aims to educate them on the best management practices to reduce water quality pollution of Sungai Jinjang. The event is supported by DID Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), SW Corp and Alam Flora.

Participants were seen cleaning clogged drains and sorting waste, conducting pollution mapping and visiting to Waste Water Treatment Plant.

“The Public Outreach Programme of RoL does not only targets the public, but also food establishments, wet markets, and food stalls; industry, corporation and developer; local communities and educational institutions. In this event, our target group is the foreign worker as they are involved in the daily activities of the market. The main problem of this wholesale market is the management of organic waste and styrofoam packaging. Even though facilities such as waste bins are adequately provided by DBKL, but, low civic awareness among these foreign workers from the wholesale market and the surrounding area is the cause of rubbish dumping in Sungai Jinjang.

By illuminating them on the impact of drain and river cleanliness to their health, and promoting best management practices such as recycling that generate additional income; we hope that they will spread this awareness among their communities. In addition, local traders in the wholesale market also need to ensure their employees throw rubbish and waste in the proper place and do not take the easy way by throwing into the river”, said Md Khairi Selamat, Director of River Basin Management Division, Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Malaysia who was present to officiate the event.

He said the Government through DID, is currently spending RM500, 000 per month just to collect rubbish at the rubbish traps in the rivers and certain drains within the River of Life project area.

Commence in 2012, the River of Life Public Outreach Programme aims to foster partnerships and to improve attitudes and behaviours of target groups to reduce pollution. The programme promotes a sense of ownership towards the river and initiates long term and sustainable change in behaviours towards protecting the river.

Sungai Jinjang is a part of Sungai Klang river basin. It passes through areas such as Selayang, Batu Caves and Taman Wahyu and categorised as Class III which is considered polluted and not suitable for recreational purposes.