Plan to revive dying rivers

Clean up time: The three rivers that have been identified are unable to sustain aquatic life. The state government, however, is planning to rectify the matter.

MELAKA: A plan to revive three “dying” rivers in the state has been given the nod.

Melaka housing, local government and environment committee chairman Datuk Tey Kok Kiew said Sungai Seri Melaka, Sungai Merlimau and Sungai Tuang were in need of urgent rejuvenation.

“These rivers are either rated Class 3 or 4, making them unsuitable for either drinking or swimming as well as being unable to sustain aquatic life, ” he said in an interview here.

Tey said the state government was looking at effective microorganisms (EM) technology to address the issue of contamination in the rivers, which has led to health, environmental and water pollution problems.

He said EM technology – which usually comes in a mud ball made up of a consortium of ‘’good’’ microbes that can degrade pollutants – was also in line with the state government’s intention of going green.

“We’re trying to place all our resources into making sure that these rivers are rehabilitated, ” he said.

Tey said Melaka rivers were constantly being polluted by solid waste despite efforts to maintain the waterways.

The state government, he added, also felt that there was a need for an “integrated and multi-departmental” approach to save the state’s rivers.

Tey said he proposed for activities upstream of these rivers to be minimised to prevent any impact downstream as well as to educate the community on the importance of having clean drains and adopting a zero waste lifestyle.

He added that Melaka was also looking into reintroducing support for River of Life initiatives.

In May, hundreds of fish died in Sungai Melaka while a month earlier, the state Water Regulatory Body lodged a police report against two catfish breeders at Hutan Percha in Alor Gajah following the ammonia pollution in Sungai Batang Melaka.

The April 28 incident caused water supply to 18,076 consumers in Alor Gajah to be abruptly disrupted after the Gadek Water Treatment Plant had to be closed.

Meanwhile, readers can find out more about the rivers in their areas by looking out for more articles to come in The Star.

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