Mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamad said the unit would liaise with environmental authorities.
For starters, it would carry out an inventory and collect data on river quality throughout the mainland.
“We will work with the Department of Environment and Department of Irrigation and Drainage to take stock of the quality of all our rivers here.
“The beautiful thing about the unit is that it will involve the community, including schools, to help improve river quality,” he said.
With the data collected, Rozali said the city council would get public and expert views on how to upgrade the purity classes of specific rivers.
“It is vital for communities to know the state of the rivers in their areas and from there, join hands to help upgrade the quality,” he said.
Rozali announced this after giving away the prizes of the district-level Secondary Schools River Water Quiz Competition organised by the city council and Water Watch Penang (WWP) in Juru Auto-City recently.
SM Tunku Abdul Rahman from Nibong Tebal took home the grand prize of RM800 after being declared the champion team.
The first runner-up was SM Bandar Tasik Mutiara from Simpang Ampat, winning the prize money of RM600.
SM Taman Inderawasih was the second runner-up, winning RM400.
Seven schools won consolation prizes and took home RM200 each.
Seventeen secondary schools took part in the quiz.
Rozali said through the competition, the students were able to understand how to assess water quality and how to protect these aquatic habitats.
He said the city council, together with WWP, had trained the students to carry out water quality assessments.
“During the training, students were taught to conduct river water quality monitoring in terms of physics, biology and chemistry,” he added.
He thanked Zerex Resources (M) Sdn Bhd’s managing director Datuk Gu Han Weng, who sponsored the cash prizes of RM3,200.
“This programme is a step by MBSP to increase public understanding towards making Seberang Prai a low-carbon city by 2022.
“To become a low-carbon city, we can’t just call it so or hang up a signboard in the office without taking any action plan.
“MBSP has, therefore, launched its action plan by engaging the younger generation through schools,” he said.
Also present were city councillors Michael Tan and Heng Yeh Shiuan, Datuk Gu, Water Watch Penang vice-president Dr Tan Mou Leong and its treasurer Phang Wai Leng and Auto-City Group managing director Gary Teoh Kiang Hong.
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