RUBBISH accumulated for years along the 2.3km-long bridge connecting Pulau Bunting and Kampung Sungai Kering in Yan, Kedah, has finally been cleared, thanks to over 100 villagers.
The participants of a gotong-royong programme organised by Kampung Kuala Sedaka and various government agencies strolled the bridge armed with tools and picked up rubbish from the road and drain beside it.
Heaps of garbage comprising food packaging, plastic bottles, polystyrene boxes, cigarette butts and boxes and discarded fishing terminal tackle were found floating in the drain.
They were believed to have been left behind by irresponsible visitors and anglers.
The gotong-royong effort came in after 23-year-old Mohd Faris Imlan posted the suggestion on the Penduduk Guar Cempedak Facebook group early last month.
His post garnered many likes and support from other users in the group.
Mohd Faris then got in touch with Yan district councillor Mohd Rosdi Yahaya who helped coordinate the manpower for the programme.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Jerai division chief Nordin Ahmad, who was also present, said the programme to clean up the bridge was difficult to organise as it was privately owned.
“It was not easy for the district council or authorities to move in, but this time we managed to gather enough volunteers to give it a complete clean-up.
“The bridge has potential to be turned into a car-free recreational area and for traders to set up their stalls along the bridge.
“We hope the effort this time will serve as an awareness to litterers to keep the place clean,” he said.
The RM120mil bridge was completed in 2004 but remains closed to traffic.
It connects Kampung Sungai Kering on the mainland to Pulau Bunting, an island measuring 2km long and 500m wide.
The coral reefs in the water make the island an ideal habitat for fishes and a favourite spot for snorkelling activities.
Three other islands that accompany Pulau Bunting in the south are Pulau Song Song, Pulau Telor and Pulau Bidan, which are also popular tourist spots for island-hopping activities.