Forging partnerships to save rivers and lakes

Participants cleaning up a lake and its surrounding area during the community networking event under Phase 5 of the River of Life Public Outreach Programme.

TEN community groups from Phase 5 of the River of Life Public Outreach Programme (RoLPOP5) attended a community networking event to adopt and save rivers and lakes in their neighbourhoods from domestic pollution.

The event was organised by the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) and carried out by the Global Environment Centre (GEC) in partnership with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

“Out of 28 community groups in the project area, 10 groups have shown their interest and commitment to adopting the rivers and lakes located near their residential area.

These groups will conduct water monitoring and initiate a number of activities pertaining to pollution reduction, waste minimisation, habitat creation and river and lake adoption.

Some of the community groups are also looking at establishing an urban garden along riverbanks” said RoLPOP5 coordinator Dr K. Kalithasan, who is also an expert on river and waste management from GEC.

The 10 community groups are KRT Perumahan Awam Seri Terengganu which will adopt Sungai Gombak, KRT Kampung Segambut Dalam (Sungai Toba), KRT Chubadak (Sungai Kemunsing), KRT Taman Seri Murni Fasa 2 (Tasik Seri Murni and Sungai Jinjang), KRT Kampung Kasipillay (Sungai Batu), KRT Taman Sejahtera (Sungai Keruh), KRT PPR Taman Wahyu (Wahyu Lake and Sungai Batu), KRT PPR Intan Baiduri (Tasik Intan Baiduri), KRT PPR Beringin (Tasik Beringin and Sungai Batu) and KRT Tamby Abdullah/Ang Seng (Sungai Klang).

Each community will adopt a one to two-kilometre stretch of their respective rivers.

Dr Kalithasan said GEC, as an implementing agency for the DID, will provide technical input to support the communities in implementing their rehabilitation and conservation activities.

The event was launched by DID deputy director-general I Datuk Md Nasir Md Noh, who presented a plaque to each community group leader. The groups will begin their mission next month.

“The community plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the River of Life project.

“We recognise this and have included the public outreach programme as one of the initiatives under the RoL,” he said.

The community of AU2 Taman Keramat, for example, has successfully transformed underutilised space along the Sungai Klang riverbanks into an urban garden. This has not only raised the aesthetic value of the river but also contributed positively towards the community’s social economy.

“They are a success story and now role models to others,” Md Nasir added.

The event also saw communities from PPR Intan Baiduri, PPR Beringin, PPR Taman Wahyu, Taman Seri Murni Fasa 2 and Taman Wilayah Selayang Fasa 2 taking part in a capacity-building programme called “Lake Ranger Programme” to monitor and protect the ecosystem of lakes and ponds.

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