MIRI: River pollution in Miri is so bad that the authorities may need to deploy workers to manually haul the household and industrial waste out of water to control the situation.
Officials from the Sarawak Rivers Board and Miri City Council said the move would be necessary so that the waste could be properly discarded on land, or they would end up in the South China Sea and on the coastal shores.
Miri mayor Adam Yii said yesterday he had carried out site visits along the Sungai Miri with officers from the board.
“A proposal is being drawn up to construct large rubbish traps at the badly polluted spots along the rivers.
“We will then need workers and dredges to haul up the waste manually so that they can be properly treated on land.
“We are in the process of identifying the suitable spots to install these rubbish traps.
“The costs are being worked out,” he told StarMetro.
He added that the council also sent engineers, public health inspectors and Local Agenda 21 representatives to check on the polluted locations.
Also involved in the site visits are technical teams from the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board as well as the Drainage and Irrigation Department.
Yii said this manual method needed to be implemented soonest as huge amounts of household and industrial waste were being washed daily onto the Miri beaches and then buried in the sand or swept to the South China Sea.
These household waste includes plastic bags, water bottles and aluminium cans, while the industrial waste includes tyres, wood and sludge.
Yii said the habit of dumping waste into rivers was still serious.
“We in the city council welcome all the help we can get from civic-conscious folks to collect the huge amount of waste along the Miri coastline.
“However, it is sad to note that the amount of waste on the beaches has continued to increase with more rubbish being found every day.
“No matter how much effort we put in, the waste keeps appearing and much of them gets buried deeper and deeper in the sand,” he added.
Yii noted that most of the waste found was household garbage that was most likely dumped by folk along the rivers.
“We have been holding education campaigns, physical clean-up operations every now and then but there is still no end to the habit of waste dumping,” he lamented.
The Miri coastline used to be clean and beautiful but such waste is making the shores dirtier by the day.