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Penang rivers turn black and dirty

 | April 15, 2015

The Penang Government spent RM15.8 million last year in a futile attempt to clean up the rivers.

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GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has found in a survey that major rivers, coastal areas, ditches and drains in Penang were badly polluted by various waste materials. “The result is unpleasant odours.”

Besides garbage, CAP said, factory waste, waste oil from motor repair workshops and waste water from business premises and residential areas were also pollution contributing sources. “The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) has reported garbage isles in Sungai Pinang and other rivers.”

“Due to the pollution, Sungai Pinang, Sungai Bayan Baru and Sungai Nipah in Balik Pulau have all turned black and dirty,” said CAP president SM Mohamed Idris. “If the causes are not tackled effectively, they would create serious environmental impact and threaten public health.”

“The unhygienic environment would result in the spread of infectious diseases.”

He called on the MBPP, the municipal authority; DID, Department of Environment (DoE) and the Department of Health to work together to bring back clean rivers to Penang. “The laws should be strictly enforced.”

Idris added that flash floods would occur during heavy rain as most rivers and drains are clogged with rubbish and have also become shallower due to sedimentation. “The CAP survey found garbage scattered in the streets, if not dumped in the rivers.”

The Penang Government, he noted, spent RM15.8 million last year to clean up the rivers on the island and in the mainland. “But apparently, it has been a futile attempt.”


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