THE Penang Government must strengthen enforcement and promote greater public awareness through education to solve problems of polluted rivers here.
Penang Gerakan secretary Oh Tong Keong said it was ironic that Penang has nine seriously polluted rivers, when it has been promoting a Cleaner Greener Penang since 2008.
“Our rivers are literally left to rot.
“We hope the state government will keep its promise to take tangible action on the dead rivers,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Oh, however, welcomed the state’s River and Sea Pollution Task Force’s commitment to resolve the river pollution.
On Sunday, Penang Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow had said that the state’s River and Sea Pollution Task Force would finalise its report early this month to outline problems and solutions to be undertaken for three ‘dead’ rivers in Penang.
Chow, who heads the task force, said Sungai Jelutong, Sungai Juru and Sungai Prai were ‘not dead’ and insisted that there were still aquatic life forms in the rivers.
Sungai Jelutong, Sungai Juru and Sungai Prai have been identified by the Drainage and Irrigation Department as among the five most polluted rivers in Peninsular Malaysia.
Another river, Sungai Pinang, is also among four rivers in the country with the most rubbish.
“It is very disappointing that while Johor recorded the highest number of 18 polluted rivers, Penang followed with nine of its rivers categorised as polluted.
“Any greening measures would not help if people are not aware that they must not throw rubbish into rivers and I hope that education programmes can be carried out to highlight the seriousness of river pollution,” Chow had told reporters after launching the Earth Day Barter Trade 2014 in Beach Street on Sunday.