100 Days, 100 Ways: Take care of Malaysia's rivers!
Thanks to Malaysia’s geographical advantage, we receive plenty of rainfall – about 3,000 mm annually – that streams into luscious rivers before flowing into sea. The Malaysian rivers bring an abundance of benefits; they support important freshwater ecosystems and habitats, generate economic revenues from fisheries and energy production, and most importantly, provide clean water for us to drink. In fact, 98% of Malaysia’s water supply is solely sourced from rivers, while the rest is from ground water.
A river in Sabah, Malaysia, that still has clear water
Unfortunately, even though rivers are so important to us Malaysians, 43 out of the 473 rivers in Malaysia are suffering from pollution. You can no longer see clear river water in urban areas, but rather water tainted with the colour of ‘teh tarik’ and filled with wastes from various sources such as industrial plants, residences and commercial premises.
It’s not just the mud that’s turning the Klang River brown
River pollution not only destroys the aquatic life that lives in them but also causes natural disasters such as soil erosion and flash floods. Toxic waste dumped into rivers also causes the soil’s acidic level to increase dramatically.
Rubbish floating on the river is a particularly common sight in densely populated areas such as towns and cities. For example, an average of 50-60 tonnes of rubbish/solid waste is collected daily along the Klang River. The number increase to 80 tonnes of rubbish after a rainy day!
A wall of solid waste piled up in the Klang River
The Malaysian government has implemented programmes to clean up the rivers but for these programmes to be effective, every Malaysian should start small at home to reduce pollution and save water.
In a nutshell, these simple actions from us can reduce water pollution and ultimately, play a big part in keeping the rivers clean. Remember, caring for Malaysian rivers starts small from your home!
BRainsfeed supports the International Day of Action For Rivers
Read more at www.internationalrivers.org