Friday March 11, 2011
By The Star Metro CHRISTINA LOW
THE Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) team’s commitment in cleaning the Sungai Way River near their office has produced results.
Three years into the project, the group is proud to say that the river is a model for a rehabilitated urban river.
Its water quality index has improved from a class five — being the worst — to a class three.
GAB Foundation management committee director Renuka Indrarajah said back then there were only bloodworms in the river but today there were many species of fish.
Light moment: Star Publications (M) Bhd deputy group chief editor (I) David Yeoh (middle) speaking to Renuka (left) during the company’s visit to Menara Star. The Star corporate communication executive Kimmy Foo (second from left), The Star marketing services general manager Iris Tan (second from right) and Dr Kalithasan look on.
“Water fowls and dragonflies can also be found near the river,” she said.
“Water is an essential ingredient in our daily lives but the quality of water in our country is worsening through the years with most households today having to install water filters,” said Renuka.
She said the foundation launched the Water project (Water Actively Through Education and Rehabilita-tion) in 2007.
The project is a joint venture with Global Environment Centre and several government agencies such as the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Selangor, Selangor Water Management Board, Selangor Department of Environment, Fisheries Department and the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) together with members from communities living and working nearby.
The group has added rubbish traps downstream of the river to ease the cleaning process.
Upstream of the river, which is near a wet market, Renuka said the residents had been using an enzyme to clean the market.
In 2009, the foundation set up a River Care Education Centre as a platform to conduct education and training on urban river rehabilitation and conservation.
Yesterday, they rolled out their first Mobile River Care Unit (MRCU) and paid a visit to Menara Star in Petaling Jaya.
“The MRCU is an extension of the River Care Education Centre to reach out to more communities along the Sungai Way basin,” said Renuka.
She added that it served as an education centre on wheels, designed to reach out to different communities and to drive home the importance of urban river conservation.
The GAB Foundation plans to visit schools, shopping centres and Government departments to bring the message to Malaysians.
Also present at Menara Star was Global Environment Centre river care programme coordinator Dr K. Kalithasan who said he was proud of the staff at GAB who had been committed in making the project a success.
“For a corporate company, it is usually not easy for them to come out and solve such issues but they have shown how serious they are in making this a reality,” said Dr Kalithasan.
He said not only did the water quality improve but the team also manage to reduce solid waste and increase bio-diversity.