Two volunteers collecting rubbish along the riverbank between Mid Valley City and Apartment Abdullah Hukum in Kuala Lumpur. —Photos: RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star
SOME 150 volunteers from six non-governmental organisations (NGO) cleaned up the riverbank between Mid Valley City and Apartment Abdullah Hukum in Kuala Lumpur.
The activity under the River of Life Public Outreach Programme Phase 5 (ROLPOP5) is an initiative by Friends of Klang River Mid Valley (FoSK MV) with the aim to clean up the riverbank and improve water quality of Klang River.
The NGOs involved were Trash Hero Kuala Lumpur, Global Environment Centre (GEC), Karun Hijau, Malaysian Eco-Brickers, Friends of Klang River Basin as well as FoSK MV, which led the clean-up.
GEC River Care Programme manager Dr K. Kalithasan said the programme aimed to change the water quality of Klang River from Class 3 to Class 2B.
“Rivers in Malaysia can be classified into five classes. Class 1 is when the water is very clean and drinkable while Class 5 is for water that cannot be treated.
A volunteer from Trash Hero Kuala Lumpur separating the rubbish collected as some can be recycled.
“Klang River belongs to Class 3, which means the water is polluted but can be treated,” he said.
The cleaning process involved three zones and covered a maximum of 500m of the riverbank.
Dr Kalithasan added that the river cleaning programme was divided into three major components – cleaning, beautifying and commercialising to promote tourism.“Today, we focus on the cleaning process and this involves two things. Firstly, we remove all solid rubbish along the riverbank and secondly, we want to prevent this from happening again,” he said.
Educational banners will be placed near the Klang River to persuade the community to maintain the cleanliness of the river.
“We collect all solid rubbish thrown near the river. They are then separated for recycling and collected by Karun Hijau.
“We also want to encourage residents of Apartment Abdullah Hukum to help take care of the river. We clean it and we want them to maintain it,” he said.
A total of 150 volunteers from six NGOs took part in the clean-up.
FoSK MV programme manager Shayley Hing said the community did not dispose of rubbish responsibly.
“We have asked the local authorities to place rubbish bins along the pedestrian way from Mid Valley Megamall to Apartment Abdullah Hukum.
“Hopefully, this will encourage them to stop throwing rubbish into the river,” said Hing, adding that the public should reduce the use of plastic and switch to reusable items.
Within three hours, waste weighing a total of 535kg was collected. Out of this amount, 50kg consisted of recyclable waste – plastic bottles (41kg), glass (7kg) and metal (2kg).
The first 100 volunteers who registered for the event received free tickets to the premiere screening of Shazam!, sponsored by Golden Screen Cinemas and Fox Studios.