IPOH: About 300 people took part in a river-cleaning programme near Sungai Kinta here under the Star Media Group’s “Do Good, Volunteer” initiative.
Getting their hands dirty while armed with rakes, garbage bags and other cleaning tools, the volunteers cleared away rubbish from storm drains and along the riverbank.
They also took part in planting wetland plants, conducting pollution mapping and making a site visit to a Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) sewage treatment plant nearby.
“It is important that we preserve and conserve our rivers,” said Sunway College Ipoh student Chan Sze Yen, 19.
The accounting student said education was important to raise awareness, especially among children, to look after the environment.
“This could be taught in schools. Parents could also play a role in teaching their children,” she said.
SMK Raja Perempuan pupil Lee Kah Yee, 19, said the programme was a meaningful event and the school’s Interact Club did not hesitate to take part in it.
“We are doing it for the environment. I feel the river is dirty and needs to be cleaned,” she said.
The river-cleaning programme was co-organised by Star Media Group with Global Environment Centre (GEC), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with IWK to educate the volunteers on the importance of caring for rivers and tributaries.
Perak Drainage and Irrigation Department director Datuk Abdul Razak Dahalan, who launched the programme, said Sungai Kinta is among the cleanest rivers in the country.
“It is categorised as 2A. The highest level is Class One, which sees a river in pristine condition,” he said.
“It is our ultimate goal to achieve Class One, but it will take a lot of effort and time to get there.”