The River of Life project is currently at 67% completion.
May 29, 2017 News No Comments
by Melvin Chow

For since the first organisms breathed life in this world, water was the first main component for them to survive. Even until today, the world’s collective flora and fauna require water not only to stay alive but to keep our health in shape.

The River of Life initiative is aimed to create cleaner rivers within the city of Kuala Lumpur while increasing the quality of life in this urban area, making it the top 20 cities in the world to live in. Started since 2010, the Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project was a huge success with the river beautification and water quality as well as increased public awareness.

Based on the 12th thrust of the National Key Economic Areas and the fifth chapter of the Economic Transformation Plan, the River of Life project wants to transform Kuala Lumpur into the most livable city in the world.
Eco Club Malaysia was recently invited to participate in the River of Life – Public Outreach Programme dialogue hosted by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) as a means to update the public on the current status of the project and also the officiating of the Phase 3B and Phase 4 of the River of Life initiative.

“The Government, as well as the Prime Minister himself, has acknowledged the importance of river cleanliness quality, not only in a sense of public health, but also how river cleanliness can also improve economic foundations while spurring business around waterfronts,” said DID’s Deputy Director-General I – Dato’ Dr Hj Md Nasir Bin Md Noh.

The River of Life project is currently at 67% completion.

The River of Life project is currently at 67% completion.

Surveillance mission done by one of the project’s contractors, Asia Pacific Environmental Consultants Sdn Bhd shows that both the Klang River and Gombak River are heavily polluted by not only solid wastes but food wastes from nearby markets and restaurants as well.

“Our recent surveillance within Selayang area determined we need to concentrate our project’s awareness within businesses in the area while garnering partnerships and understanding from restaurants to properly manage their food wastes,” said the director of Asia Pacific Environmental Consultants Sdn Bhd, Dr Jamie Chong Li Yean.

However, Eco Club Malaysia questions if such surveillance was adequate as the consultants did not address the main business within the Selayang are, which were aquaculture businesses who dumps poisoned waters from their ponds into the rivers after they harvested the fishes from it, among other liquid wastes.

Dr Jamie responded that it was not an oversight, but the committees of the programme were aware of such irresponsible management by the owners of the said fish ponds, but they have yet to cover them in their surveillance missions.

Dato’ Dr Hj Md Nasir also stresses that the River of Life programme focuses more on the prevention of dumping wastes into the river, rather than to cure it.

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