Caring for Miri rivers together via programme

Volunteers hard at work cleaning rubbish from the riverbank.

MIRI: The new “Riverine Adoption Programme” by Miri City Council (MCC) has become a platform for NGOs and riverside communities to come together to keep Miri’s rivers clean.

Mayor Adam Yii said the programme, which falls under MCC’s Love Our River campaign seeks to promote collaboration and cooperation between the council, NGOs, relevant agencies and villagers for a united cause.

“Interested NGO’s can suggest a riverside village and community to adopt and work with towards educating and increasing awareness of residents.

“This is to create a sense of ownership of the residents towards the rivers and surrounding environment and also curb the habit of littering,” said Yii.

He added that litterbugs have given Miri a bad image, drawing negative perceptions from local and foreign visitors of the state of the rivers.

“This programme is most certainly not a one-off activity, but will be a continuous effort until adopted villages are clean and its residents understand the importance of keeping the rivers clean.

“Throughout this programme, MCC will supply lorries and gunny sacks for weekly or at least monthly gotong-royong sessions.

We will also supply communal bins to the villages for proper rubbish disposal,” he said.

Other efforts under the campaign include holding both national and international conferences.

Yii hopes that by conducting such conferences participating local authorities in Malaysia and other countries can generate ideas and share experiences.

“We would like to gather information on methods to conduct rehabilitation and conservation of rivers and the preparation of an estimated budget for such projects.

“We also hope to upgrade the standard of Miri’s rivers through the bench marking of model rivers around the world such as Melaka River, Singapore Waterfront and Cheongyecheon riverstream in Seoul,” he said.

Kampung Wireless was chosen to be the first village to launch the programme with a gotong-royong session with the participating NGO Junior Chamber International (JCI) Miri and volunteers from other agencies.

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