SEBERANG Prai City Council (MBSP) has created a programme for its Wira Oren frontliners to do gardening work at their respective homes.
For a start, some 20 workers from the Municipal Services Department were selected to participate in the vegetable planting programme.
Council mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud said each participant received okra, brinjal and spinach seedlings and 200g of compost fertiliser.
He said after a month, the participants would be asked to send pictures of their vegetable cultivation to the MBSP Community Department.
“Participants who are successful in planting vegetables after a month will be given two kilos of compost fertiliser.
“It is hoped that our Wira Oren members can set an example and provide guidance to their surrounding neighbours while promoting the vegetable planting campaign in their respective yards.
“The skills acquired can also help the community improve its urban agriculture or community gardening.
“In addition, it is also expected that each participant will practise kitchen waste composting and become a leader of zero waste, ” said Rozali in his speech before giving away the seedlings to the Wira Oren members at the MBSP headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam on the Penang mainland recently.
Present were MBSP secretary Rosnani Mahmod, the council’s Local Agenda 21 coordinator Chew Eng Seng, and councillors Tan Choo Eng, Rachel Teh Chuann Yien, Anuar Yusoff and Muhamad Suzuki Ahmad.
Rozali also said a second batch would be selected for the programme if the pilot project is successful.
He said the council has also rented a 1.4-acre plot of land in Padang Cempedak, Tasek Gelugor, near Butterworth to be used as the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)-MBSP-Urbanest Green Education Centre.
“This is a community garden education centre and is currently open to MBSP workers, especially the Wira Oren, to register and participate in workshops or training. Anyone who is interested can register with the community eco unit, MBSP community department for training and gardening at the designated site.
“My hope is that if all residents can practise urban farming, backyard gardening or balcony gardening and make their own compost, 40% of waste, which is equivalent to 246,000 tonnes, can be reduced from being taken to the landfill in Pulau Burung, near Nibong Tebal.
“In turn, this will reduce tipping fees by RM5.47mil, reduce carbon footprint production by 307.5 kilo tonnes of CO2e and curb global warming so that it does not exceed 1.5°C.
“In addition, residents can also eat fresh vegetables and make the community and Seberang Prai more sustainable, ” said Rozali.