Lessons on river pollution


Interceptor 005 on Sungai Klang helping to remove floating waste from the river.

Public invited on board educational trip along Sg Klang

HAVING spent years overseeing the cleaning and rehabilitation of Sungai Klang, the Selangor Maritime Gateway project is now embarking on a new venture – using the river as an educational tool for visitors.

The project, partnered with local fishermen to help rejuvenate economic opportunities and introduce an additional income source, is developed by Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd.

Its corporate services officer Suhailah Shamsudin said the river had undergone massive improvements after 87,682 tonnes of riverine rubbish were fished out from 2016 to March 2023, giving Sungai Klang a new lease of life.

“We implemented river cleanup efforts, utilising multiple river cleaning infrastructure, including log booms placed along the river stretch.

“This is complemented by two Interceptors – 002 and 005 – placed along the river,” she said of the vessels created by Dutch non-profit organisation The Ocean Cleanup to gather riverine rubbish.

Strolling and sightseeing made easy with a 1km-long boardwalk at Mangrove Park in Klang. Strolling and sightseeing made easy with a 1km-long boardwalk at Mangrove Park in Klang.

Suhailah was serving as tour guide to 15 local media practitioners on a trip down the river in Klang, co-organised and guided by Selangor Maritime Gateway and Tourism Selangor.

The aim was to educate on and raise awareness of water pollution.

The boat trip kicked off at Pangkalan Batu Urban Park and passed various sites including a water quality monitoring station and a plastic separation boom.

The 90-minute trip along Sungai Klang also paid a visit to Mangrove Point, a new ecotourism site, and a fishermen’s jetty along Sungai Sireh.

This writer found Mangrove Point a delightful recreational park.

“Mangrove Point was built to create a biophilic setting, where it invites residents and tourists to stroll along its 1km-long boardwalk loop spanning an area of around 70ha,” said Suhailah.

Rubbish from the river caught among mangrove roots come from urban litter.Rubbish from the river caught among mangrove roots come from urban litter.

She highlighted that a total of 27 species of birds had been spotted in the park.

The area also hosts mangrove species that include crabapple (berembang) and loop-root mangrove trees.

However, the grounds were littered with plastic bottles, cans and other items swept up from the river.

Describing the rubbish scattered around as an eyesore, Rantau PR Sdn Bhd associate account manager Ravinesh Uthayasuriyan, who was present during the trip, said the rubbish was swept there during previous flash floods in the city.

“The root problem is littering and it’s not even in the river but it is rubbish on roads that have great impact on the cleanliness of rivers and parks.

“When it rains, litter on streets will be washed into the drainage network, then to the river and finally end up in the park.”

Media practitioners being briefed before embarking on the educational boat ride along Sungai Klang.Media practitioners being briefed before embarking on the educational boat ride along Sungai Klang.

Ravinesh added that this educational trip contributed to spreading awareness among participants to refrain from littering.

Tourism Selangor industry development manager Chua Yee Ling hopes to foster collaborations with schools in the future to conduct awareness campaigns.

“Schools can educate children on the importance of preserving the ecosystem and bring awareness about river pollution.

“Students can then see for themselves what happens to our rivers,” said Chua.

Prices for the trip depend on boat size. For details, visit www.selangormaritimegateway.com

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