ABOUT 70 youths visited the Bukit Kiara Park near Taman Tun Dr Ismail recently to understand the need to protect rivers as part of the International Day for Biological Diversity.
With the support of the Education Welfare and Research Foundation Malaysia (EWRF) and Sungai Kinta River Ranger, the camp was organised as part of the Penchala River Education (PRE) programme focused on river, water and waste management.
The programme is under the Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (Water), an initiative by GAB Foundation with the support of the Global Environment Centre (GEC).
GEC River Care Programme coordinator and PRE project coordinator Dr. K. Kalithasan said the aim of the programme was to inculcate a sense of environmental ownership among Malaysians at a young age.
He said the camp focused on river, water and waste as people considered the rivers as dumping grounds.
“Urban rivers suffer a lot as people throw all kinds of things into the drains that lead to the river.
“People forget that the basic function of the river is as a source of drinking water. We must all value and protect the rivers, if not we will face a shortage of clean water,” he said.
Dr Kalithasan added that the better approach to stop pollution was through water conservation initiatives.
The youths took part in river auditing, monitoring, water auditing and waste assessment.
Petaling District Drainage and Irrigation Department engineer Ahmad Solihin Budarto, who launched the camp, was pleased with the overall participation of the event.
Ahmad Solihin said camps like this would help stop the degradation of rivers as minds were moulded to recognise the importance of rivers.