Minister: Rivers must never be treated like ‘rubbish bins’

Lee puts a safety jacket on a Kampung Pengkalan Lutong villager, involved in the campaign.

MIRI: Mirians are sternly reminded against treating rivers like their ‘rubbish bins’.

In making this call, Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin also expresses regret over the attitude of some city folk who would simply dispose of rubbish into rivers when there are already rubbish bins provided by the Miri City Council (MCC).

“The Miri River and the Lutong River were once listed as among the 10 most polluted rivers in Sarawak, at Level 4. But after various campaigns carried out, they are now out of the list,” he spoke during the ‘Miri River Cleanliness Campaign’ at Kampung Pengkalan Lutong here yesterday.

However, Lee observed that some riverine communities were still treating Miri River and Lutong River as their dump-sites.

“Polluted rivers and beaches, with heaps of rubbish, would give negative image to Miri as a tourism city.

“Ensuring cleanliness of the city is everyone’s responsibility – it should not be put on the shoulders of government agencies alone,” he said.

Lee, who is Senadin assemblyman, said the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) had been carrying out numerous campaigns on river cleanliness and awareness not only for the city dwellers, but also for the villagers and longhouse folk.

However, he stressed that any effort in keeping the rivers clean would remain unsuccessful without the involvement and participation of the local community.

“The local community must work together in keeping our rivers and land clean. All of us must join hands to ensure that the rivers in Miri are free from pollution,” he said.

Lee (on board the boat, left) and other guests take part in a symbolic launch to kick off the river cleanliness campaign at Kampung Pengkalan Lutong.

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