Over $9.6m spent on cleaning Malaysian rivers in 3 years

Over $9.6m spent on cleaning Malaysian rivers in 3 years
Waterway eyesore: Garbage found along Sungai Prai.

KUALA LUMPUR - More than RM25mil (S$9.6 mil) has been spent over the past three years to clean up polluted rivers in the country.

For Sungai Klang, the cleaning has to be done daily because of the large amount of garbage and rubbish dumped upstream. For most other rivers and tributaries, maintenance cleaning is done weekly or monthly.

Drainage and Irrigation Department's river basin and coastal management division director Datuk Lim Chow Hock said the cost of cleaning varied, depending on how polluted a river is.

The four most polluted rivers, based on the volume of rubbish thrown in, are Sungai Klang, Sungai Tebrau, Sungai Skudai and Sungai Pinang.

From 2006 to next year, the Federal Government has allocated RM114mil to rehabilitate rivers, under the "One State One River" programme, which is targeted at the most polluted rivers.

Lim said as most people in Sabah and Sarawak refrained from throwing rubbish into the drains, rivers were not so polluted there.

"It all boils down to having the right attitude and being civic-minded when disposing rubbish," he added.

The Department of Environment, in its 2012 River Water Quality report, listed 34 rivers under the "polluted" category, based on water quality. Out of the 473 rivers in Malaysia monitored, 161 rivers were deemed "slightly polluted" while the rest were classified as "clean".

Johor had the most under the category of polluted rivers with 18, followed by Penang with nine, Malacca and Kelantan (two each), followed by Kedah, Perak, Terengganu and Selangor (one each).

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