LABUAN, Aug 1 — The Labuan Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) and Labuan Corporation (LC) are relentless in their efforts to clean the polluted Gersik River.
Labuan DID director Juniaddi Awang Tuah said there is a plan to construct a tidal gate control at the river mouth to prevent sea water backing up into the river during high tide.
He said the residents of the water settlement denied dumping rubbish into the river and blamed the pollution on the high tide.
A ‘gotong-royong’ clean-up has had little effect.
Juniaddi told Bernama a river cleaning programme, again involving the villagers, would be held before the end of the year.
He said a log boom had been installed at the river, and it was seen that the rubbish came from both the river mouth and the water settlement.
LC acting chief executive officer Rithuan Ismail said the indiscriminate dumping of waste was the main reason for the Gersik River pollution.
He urged the people to serve as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the local authorities and report any dumping of waste in the river, saying legal action could be taken against those found littering in public areas under the anti-litter bylaws.
Rithuan said LC planned to organise a ‘Love Our Rivers’ campaign in collaboration with non-governmental organisations and the DID to educate the public on the importance of rivers and the environment and highlight the critical state of pollution of Labuan rivers.
“We must realise that rivers are not dumping sites, as disposing waste will negatively impact the environment. We must join hands to look after our rivers,” he said.
He said instilling love and care for the rivers is a long-term solution to the problem.