High-tech way to save rivers

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/4/18/nation/13985162&sec=nation

Tuesday April 18, 2006

High-tech way to save rivers

JOHOR BARU: Nothing can survive the waters of Sungai Segget here, one of the most polluted rivers in the country.

But with effective micro-organism (EM) technology, there is hope that fish will one day be swimming in it.

With the technology, highly polluted rivers such as Sungai Segget, Sungai Tebrau and Sungai Skudai can be treated, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said at the Effective Micro-organism (EM) Technology Application conference here.

The technology will be tested for the first time in Sungai Segget early next month.

It is based on a solution comprising three main parts: lactic acid bacteria, yeast and photosynthetic bacteria.

The solution reacts with different materials to achieve different effects. It can turn sludge into algae and clear rust.

Johor will be the first state to apply the friendly bacteria method (to clean rivers), said Abdul Ghani.

EM is an environment-friendly technology that can improve the surroundings.

He said the technology could also be used in agriculture.

The use of EM in biotechnology can contribute to the development of agriculture and economic growth, he said, adding that EM could also be used in the production of fertilisers.

Prof Dr Teruo Higa, founder of the technology, hopes it would be widely used in Malaysia.

He said it could solve global problems such as scarcity of food, environmental and health issues.

State Agriculture-based Industry, Regional and Rural Development, Cultural, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Ahmad Zahri Jamil said the technology had shown positive results.

This is a breakthrough for Johor, he said, adding that EM technology was cheap, effective and sustainable.