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Old April 14th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #61
nazrey
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Rivers under threat
Tuesday April 14, 2009
Stories by BAVANI M



IN most modern cities, rivers within their vicinity have become the focal point of business, resulting in heavy development and commercialisation of these primary natural resources.

The Seine River in Paris, the Singapore River in the Lion City, the Chao Phraya in Bangkok and the Thames in London, to name just a few famous ones, have all been turned into tourist destinations with massive commercial development around them.

In all these cities, businesses flourish along their river corridors and the aesthetic values the rivers offer to the city denizens such as scenic beauty, solitude, natural environment cannot be described with words but need to be experienced.

But, there is a heavy price to pay for the massive economic development and the blooming commercial activities along these rivers and within their vicinity.



Ugly sight: Rubbish from Sungai Klang stuck
underneath the Masjid Jamek LRT Station.


These rivers are slowly being killed by the unrestrained development which is often accompanied by massive pollution and other ecological damages.

Kuala Lumpur has its share of rivers, and its two main casualties are the Klang and Gombak rivers, but all is not lost yet as the federal government has pledged to rejuvenate the two rivers.

A technical report on ways to rehabilitate the two rivers has been completed recently and is awaiting for a decision on implementation from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The report is the result of an extensive study and research conducted by the Federal Territories Ministry into various measures required to clean and regenerate the two of Klang Valley’s dirtiest rivers.

Meanwhile, Malaysia can learn something about the rejuvenation of rivers from South Korea.

At last month’s international conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2009 (WCSC 2009), South Korean delegate Kie-Wook Kwon from the Seoul Metropolitan Government presented a paper on “Riverside Development & Restoration of Cheong Gye Cheon River in Seoul”.

He spoke of how the South Korean government implemented an inspiring project to rehabilitate the rivers in Seoul.

Kwon told StarMetro during a recent interview that both the Klang and Gombak rivers could easily be rehabilitated.

“It is feasible since the rivers in KL are free of traffic, unlike those in Seoul,” he said.

Kwon cited the Han river as an example where water was pumped from the upstream of the Han River into the Cheong Gye Cheon River in Seoul to treat the river.

“In KL this would not be a problem as one only has to deal with water quality, but it can be done,’’ he said.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Drainage and River Management Department director Hooi Yoke Meng agreed that rejuvenating both rivers could be done, but pointed out that it would cost a lot of money.

“Our main priority is flood mitigation, quality control is secondary,’’ he said.

In the case of the Han River, Hooi pointed out that it had cost the South Korean government some US300mil, which is more than RM1bil, to rehabilitate and the rejuvenation project only covered a 6km length of the river. (mahalnya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! )

“The question is are we willing to spend that kind of money for our rivers? Hooi asked. The government’s recent stimulus package is only RM60bil and I would think that the government would have to prioritise,’’ Hooi said.

According to Hooi, the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP2020) recognises that rivers, other than being a mere conduit to convey storm water, have also amenity and aesthetic values and, hence, places emphasis on improving, enhancing these values.

Hooi said that measures to improve the quality of the rivers had been considered and consolidated in plans.

“Rivers are a good resource to a city and there is potential in developing the river corridors into tourists attraction,’’ he said.

But this would take time and money and is not a feasible plan for now. Perhaps for the time being, the government should take an educational approach to solve the current urgent pollution problem.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail, a passionate advocate for clean rivers, had said on numerous occasions that people should change their perception of rivers and look at them as a resource rather than their rubbish dumping ground.

Hence, educating the public on the importance of keeping the rivers clean is probably a much more effective long-term solution.

Government trying to rehabilitate KL rivers
Tuesday April 14, 2009

DURING the 1900s, the confluence of Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak was a centre of commercial activities when traders would come in small sampans from Indonesia, docked at the confluence and conduct business there.

According to pioneer trader Maideen Kadir Shah, who owns shops at Wisma Yakin, his family came from Minang in Indonesia to set up trade and promote Islam at the spot, which used to be known as Kampung Rawa.

The early traders built two mosques in the area. Masjid India was originally built of wood in 1863, while Masjid Jamek, located at the meeting point of Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak, was built in 1907.

The two structures - undoubtedly the oldest mosques in KL – are testimony to the presence of the early traders and the importance of the rivers to the community in those days.

Today the government is trying its best to rehabilitate some of the KL rivers and is committed to prevent further destruction of the rivers as stated in the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP2020).

According to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Drainage and River Management Department director Hooi Yoke Meng, after the primary objective of flood mitigation is achieved, the DBKL will work on improving the water quality of the rivers.

“Once the water quality is clean, there is plenty of potential in developing the river front as rivers will be fronting people’s front doors instead of back door,’’ Hooi said, adding that the economic potential were numerous.

Hooi said the priority focus of the KLCP2020 were progressive improvements of the Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak located within the city centre and along other rivers located outside the city centre where opportunities to create localised pedestrian connectivity along the river exit.

The KLCP2020 lists three major plans to improve the river quality:

(1) A designating riverside corridor where development on land located

within the corridor will need to be more sympathetic to the river by

taking measures to front the river and to provide public spaces

fronting the river;

(2) Removing industrial activities along river reserves and within river corridor; and

(3) Controlling land use and activities on land located within riverside corridor to eliminate polluting activities directly abutting rivers.

The proposed beautification project covers the Sungai Klang, Sungai Gombak, Sungai Kerayong and Sungai Kuyoh, and involves landscaping and treatment of river edge, treatment of river buffer, integration of activities as river nodes, provisions of continuous trails for walking, jogging and cycling.

The potential river activities for Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak within the city centre are between Putra World Trade Centre LRT station and Jalan Tun Razak, the Quality Hotel and the DBKL complex, Jalan Parlimen and Leboh Pasar Besar, the Masjid Jamek LRT and Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Tan Cheng Lock and Leboh Pasar Besar, and Pasar Seni and Jalan Damansara and the Klang bus station.

The existing shop lots along the area will be encouraged to develop the river front with al fresco activities, footpaths would be pedestrianised, river from residential and commercial buildings would be created and much more.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #62
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These rivers are slowly being killed by the unrestrained development which is often accompanied by massive pollution and other ecological damages.
The writer from the Star should really be more careful when describing the rivers (Seine, Chao Praya, Singapore river) as "slowly being killed by unrestrained development"

Both the Seine and the Singapore river have been massively cleaned up and are now in reasonable shape. The Singapore river and Marina Bay are going to become a reservoir for drinking water for Singaporeans - a huge improvement. The Thames river has now got fish and people are recording sightings of mammal and bird species that have not been seen in years.

Cheers, m
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Old April 14th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #63
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The Thames river has now got fish and people are recording sightings of mammal and bird species that have not been seen in years.

Cheers, m
the Gombak River too has lot of fish, mr moaz. you should spend some times seeing people fishing in some part of the river...

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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #64
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the Gombak River too has lot of fish, mr moaz. you should spend some times seeing people fishing in some part of the river...

image hosted on flickr
I dont doubt it - though Im not sure what kind of fish can be found.

The Thames was declared officially dead through London, Osh - but it has come back to life.

Was that stretch of the Gombak officially declared dead?

Cheers, m
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Old April 15th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #65
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Klang & Gombak river
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Old April 15th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #66
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I dont doubt it - though Im not sure what kind of fish can be found.

The Thames was declared officially dead through London, Osh - but it has come back to life.

Was that stretch of the Gombak officially declared dead?

Cheers, m
there's no such declaration for rivers in KL/Selangor as i concern. only heard Sungai Pinang of Penang got declared dead.

so was that mean Thames was much in horrific condition compare to Sungai Gombak? emm...
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Old April 16th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #67
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there's no such declaration for rivers in KL/Selangor as i concern. only heard Sungai Pinang of Penang got declared dead.

so was that mean Thames was much in horrific condition compare to Sungai Gombak? emm...
dead means that oxygen levels are so low that only 1-2 very hardy fish species can survive.

A pretty, scenic river can still be dead - while a dirty, badly landscaped river could still be alive.

Cheers, m
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Old May 6th, 2009, 05:37 AM   #68
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Residents offer views and ideas on urban renewal programme
By JADE CHAN



IN early March, the Selangor government announced that it will allocate RM10bil for urban renewal activities, with a focus on redeveloping areas like Petaling Jaya and Klang.

The plan is part of a statewide scheme to create a catalyst for economic development and also includes the rehabilitation and cleaning up of the Klang River and expansion of the transportation for the entire state,

StarMetro spoke to several professionals and Petaling Jaya residents on what they think is needed to redevelop the city. Following are some of the comments:

Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) president Norliza Hashim, a town planning expert, feels that PJ should go for a regeneration rather than a redevelopment process.

“When we talk about regeneration, the rebuilding process should consider what already exists and its impact on the surrounding areas, which in this case is the community,” Norliza said.

“However, there is a need to be sensitive to the question of affordance and for a strong policy to be in place, because when redevelopment occurs, the cost of living is inadvertently increased,” she pointed out.

“Urban regeneration is needed, or else that part of the city won’t be developed. It is more sustainable to develop the ‘brownfield sites’, which is to upgrade, enhance and rejuvenate an existing area, rather than the developers’ preference to develop ‘greenfield sites’ of undeveloped space on the boundaries of the city.”

A brownfield is an urban area which is or has formerly been the site of commercial or industrial activity, especially one cleared and available for redevelopment, while a greenfield denotes building away from existing developments.

Norliza suggested that areas to be looked into should include public transportation, pedestrian walkways and social amenities.

“Opting for the bus is the simpler solution because it gets commuters almost directly to their destination. Reclaim one road lane as a dedicated bus route,” she said.


Sports in the city: Norliza said the conversion of former industrial buildings into futsal courts was a great example of being creative.

“The concept takes getting used to but it is easier to use buses as a form of public transport in compact cities, provided the stops are well-planned and routes well-integrated.”

Norliza said walking should be enhanced by making pedestrian walkways barrier-free and continuous.

“There should be no obstructions on the walkways. It should have the correct width, gradient and level, with ramps, to allow senior citizens and those using wheelchairs and strollers to move about,” she said.

“With the increase in the younger population and number of educational institutions in PJ, there is a need for social amenities to cater to this group.”

Norliza said these amenities should be provided at fairly reasonable rates that could accommodate the young people’s lifestyles.

“Besides sports and recreation facilities, we should consider sharing other resources, such as opening school halls to the public after school hours or on weekends for sports or lifelong learning activities.

“We just need to be creative in finding solutions,” she said, citing the conversion of former industrial buildings into futsal courts as a good example.

On high-rise development, Norliza feels that it is all right to have one plot of land with a slight increase in density as it creates variety in the community, provided its scale, design and height is humane to its surroundings.

Norliza suggested that areas in PJ that could be looked into for rejuvenation are Section 13, PJ Old Town, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Kampung Chempaka and the Old Klang Road stretch.

“The village areas need better infrastructure and facilities with proper housing structure, yet their close-knit community ties should be maintained. There should be proper consultation with the people to understand what they need,” she said.

“The regeneration has to be unique to the individual local area as each has its own issues and features. The PJ population comprises a mix of the older generation who may not been be keen on change, and the younger residents who require more amenities, so we have to be more sensitive when planning to accommodate all of them,” Norliza said.

Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) president Lee Chor Wah (above) said that the first thing was to address the bane of most Klang Valley denizens – the traffic congestion.

“A two-tiered highway should be built on the LDP Expressway and the Federal Highway. The residents should pressure the government for this to be done to address the traffic situation,” Lee said.

“The government should also invest its money on improving public transportation, such as improving the bus services,” he said.

“Once the public transportation system is improved, people would be willing to take the bus or train and not drive. The routes and stops have to be well-planned, such that senior citizens in remote suburbs also have access to buses,” Lee said.

He also said walking should be encouraged in the city by improving the walkways.

“One idea is to build connected walkways to improve the connectivity between train stations to bus stations. Another is to have elevated walkways at high traffic areas, like from the PJ Hilton to Menara Axis, the UMMC (Universiti Malaya Medical Centre) to Section 12, and Sungai Way New Village to Seri Setia KTM station,” Lee said.

“More trees should be planted and landscaping properly done to provide shaded walkways. The existing green space should also be enhanced, rejuvenated and made as useful as possible,” he said.

“If we plan things in a more considerate, caring and humane way, that would cater to the entire community.”

Lee feels that incentives should be given to developers and building owners to take up the green building concept.

“The green building concept promotes energy efficient methods, water-saving features, rain water harvesting, environmental quality control and other ways to save energy,” he said.

“The government should also consider re-zoning certain industrial areas like Section 13 to commercial, as its buildings and warehouses would otherwise be left derelict,” Lee said. “These former industrial zones need to be revitalised, but support facilities like shops and restaurants should also be put in place to support the local activities.”

On high-rise development, Lee said they could be regulated through the plot ratio, height control and density.

“A higher-density building should be better, as it would offer more ground space for the people to use.

“People shouldn’t oppose development; they can use that as an opportunity to get the developer to give something back to the community,” he said.

Lee said the principles of new urbanisation could be borrowed by having community shops within the neighbourhood to promote walking.

“It’s more convenient to walk to the nearby grocery store to get some simple day-to-day necessities. The charm and uniqueness of PJ Old Town should also be kept,” Lee said.

“The traffic and density should be improved, while the public transportation link is very important to attract people to use.”

To ensure a good retail mix in PJ Old Town, Lee said a mix of a control and free market system should be used to manage the type of businesses in the area while giving priority to existing traders.

“The government should look into engaging the community to encourage a better sense of belonging, such as giving the community maintenance money and the responsibility to take care of their own area,” Lee said.

PJ Old Town residents


Revitalise it: Shamsuddin said efforts should be made to improve the situation in PJ Old Town.

According to Section 3 Rukun Tetangga (RT) chairman Shamsuddin Hassan, there is a dire need to bring life back to the area, even though there is no space for redevelopment.

“We only have a market and bus station in the area, but we don’t have recreational facilities. What used to be a field is now a hockey stadium. We used to have a community hall and playground, but they have been replaced with a library,” he said.

Shamsuddin suggested that the existing facilities be maximised by turning the upper floor of the PJ Old Town bus station into an open-space cafe, while the ground floor area could have open kiosks selling takeaway food and drinks.

Another suggestion is to have a Sunday car boot sale or flea market at the parking lot next to the bus station.

Shamsuddin said because there were hardly any recreational facilities for youths in PJ Old Town, most of them had to travel to other parts of PJ and spend money for sports and recreational activities.

“We welcome the idea of turning the hockey stadium into a multi-purpose sports complex because that would cater to a wider group in our community,” he said.

Section 3 RT secretary Norashikin Ali feels that one section of the food court next to the market could be used as a youth centre.

Section 3 RT security officer Stanislaus Anthony said there should be more bus routes to service the town and bring back the liveliness that it had in the 1970s.

“The buses used to travel to various parts of PJ to service all the residents, but the routes now only go to KL, Puchong and Taman Medan,” he said.

“Despite that, we still have people from as far as Subang Jaya and Brickfields coming to the market because it is renowned for its reasonable prices and product freshness,” Anthony said.

The residents, most living at PJ Old Town for over 50 years, said the present infrastructure could not support the increasing traffic and that there was a lack of parking space in the area.

They complained that cars were often parked illegally and that shoppers preferred not to park at the market, even though it had parking space on its upper floors, because of the RM1.60 per hour parking charges and lack of lifts for shoppers’ convenience.

“PJ was originally developed as a satellite town, with the pioneer residents staying in PJ Old Town which comprises Sections 1, 1A, 18, 2, 3 and 4,” Shamsuddin said.

“Section 1 was the first new town built by the British, while Section 3 was the first low-cost housing area in the city,” he said.

“What is unique about our community is that because we’re so close-knit, we can immediately recognise when a resident or stranger is passing by. We now have four generations of people, but we still know practically everyone,” Shamsuddin said.


Lifeline needed: Shamsuddin also suggested turning the upper floor of the PJ Old Town bus station into an open-space cafe.

PJ Old Town Residents Assocation secretary Connie Foong noted that the 60-year lease for the PJ Old Town land title would be expiring soon, and hoped that the government would change the land status from its present leasehold title to freehold.

Kg Chempaka residents

Kampung Chempaka Rukun Tetangga chairman Lee Meng Chong said he would like to see some upgrading of facilities within the village.

He feels that the villagers are lagging in terms of development even though they are surrounded by massive development.

“There are many problems in the area like the lack of parking and the roads are too narrow. Sometimes, Alam Flora can’t even get into some of the roads,” Lee said.

Although the land in Kampung Chempaka could fetch a hefty price, Lee doubted that many owners would sell their land.

“After we received our land titles, many of us spent quite a lot of money on renovating our houses,” Lee said.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #69
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Residents offer views and ideas on urban renewal programme
By JADE CHAN



IN early March, the Selangor government announced that it will allocate RM10bil for urban renewal activities, with a focus on redeveloping areas like Petaling Jaya and Klang.

The plan is part of a statewide scheme to create a catalyst for economic development and also includes the rehabilitation and cleaning up of the Klang River and expansion of the transportation for the entire state,

StarMetro spoke to several professionals and Petaling Jaya residents on what they think is needed to redevelop the city. Following are some of the comments:

Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) president Norliza Hashim, a town planning expert, feels that PJ should go for a regeneration rather than a redevelopment process.

“When we talk about regeneration, the rebuilding process should consider what already exists and its impact on the surrounding areas, which in this case is the community,” Norliza said.

“Urban regeneration is needed, or else that part of the city won’t be developed. It is more sustainable to develop the ‘brownfield sites’, which is to upgrade, enhance and rejuvenate an existing area, rather than the developers’ preference to develop ‘greenfield sites’ of undeveloped space on the boundaries of the city.”

A brownfield is an urban area which is or has formerly been the site of commercial or industrial activity, especially one cleared and available for redevelopment, while a greenfield denotes building away from existing developments.

Norliza suggested that areas to be looked into should include public transportation, pedestrian walkways and social amenities.

“Opting for the bus is the simpler solution because it gets commuters almost directly to their destination. Reclaim one road lane as a dedicated bus route,” she said.
Selangor State government should have some masterplan to convert Petaling Jaya as a real alternative to Kuala Lumpur rather than just being a 'hinterland'
  • To refurbish/regenerate the old area (PJ Old Town)
  • To increase density in some of the 'Seksyen' as well as to increase the number of residential in Damansara.
  • To strengthen Damansara as PJ's business hub.
  • To have a PJ public transportation hub
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Old May 6th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by OshHisham View Post
Selangor State government should have some masterplan to convert Petaling Jaya as a real alternative to Kuala Lumpur rather than just being a 'hinterland'
  • To refurbish/regenerate the old area (PJ Old Town)
  • To increase density in some of the 'Seksyen' as well as to increase the number of residential in Damansara.
  • To strengthen Damansara as PJ's business hub.
  • To have a PJ public transportation hub
Sokong! Email Tony Pua and the various MPs and ADUNs and councillors with your idea. Post to Tony Pua's blog also.

Cheers, m
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Old June 26th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #71
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Gombak & Klang river
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Old July 5th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #72
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by Emeka B
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Old July 6th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #73
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Sungai Gombak
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #74
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Scenic riverside projects to ensure folk show care for the waterways
Tuesday July 7, 2009
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ



DEVLOPERS of future housing projects near rivers must include a landscape programme to beautify the site.

Selangor deputy tourism chairman Edward Lee said Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had made the proposal and for the formation of the Klang River Authority (KRA), a committee which would be tasked with regulating the development of riverside projects.

Lee, who is also Bukit Gasing assemblyman, said the proposal was to get developers to landscape and beautify the sites.



Teamwork: Malaysian Nature Society volunteers cleaning up the river
behind the Environmental Interpretive Centre in Sepang.


“Ideally, the houses should face the rivers and if the waterways are clean and the surroundings landscaped, these would fetch a better price as in the case of developments fronting lakes,” he said during the World Environment Day held at the Environmental Interpretive Centre in Sepang recently.

He said this was a programme which was first started by the state Drainage and Irrigation Department which worked with the local councils to include beautification programmes in their building plans.

Lee. who was representing Tourism, consumer affairs and environment chairman Elizabeth Wong, said the state government was concerned about problems like river pollution and erosion.

He said they were urging developers to build houses facing rivers so that residents would refrain from polluting the waterways.

“If the back of houses faced the rivers, then we would have residents dumping garbage there,’’ he said, adding that the mentri besar would come out with a blueprint.



Symbolic act: Lee watering a plant to celebrate the launch of World
Environment Day while members of the Malaysian Nature Society look on.


Lee said although the policy was not in place yet, the committee was identifying sites along riversides that could be part of the programme.

“We will wait for the mentri besar to make the final announcement as river management is a complex task and planning is needed to ensure that rivers are kept free of pollution at its source,’’ he said.

It is learnt that the state government is embarking on a RM10bil project to clean up its longest river and is keen to tap Singapore’s experience in river-cleaning.

Selangor aims to clean its 120km Sungai Klang in a 20-year project lasting till 2030.

Sepang Municipal Council president Azizan Mohd Sidin said the council would embark on an aggressive river-cleaning project and get the local residents involved as well.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 07:03 AM   #75
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Bringing river back to life

2009/07/22
By Sheila Sri Priya


The Sungai Way river which was polluted in the past is now looking cleaner and even has wetland plants growing in it.

PETALING JAYA: The Sungai Way river has been given a new lease of life.

The once badly polluted river is now looking much cleaner and even has wetland plants growing in it.

The positive outcome is due to the success of the Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (Water) project, which is an initiative by the Guinness Anchor Bhd (GAB) Foundation and Global Environment Centre (GEC).

“Wetland plants can help to reduce the velocity of the river, encourages
the growth of aquatic species and enables the plants to absorb the pollutants,” said GEC’s coordinator of River Care Programme, Dr K. Kalithasan.


Sungai Way, a tributary of Sungai Penchala, was often mistaken for a monsoon drain in the past due to its pollution.

Many, in fact, have forgotten that in the 1950s, the new village settlement in Seri Setia SS9A across the Federal Highway was named after the river.

In December 2007, GAB Foundation together with the GEC started a three-year project to clean and rehabilitate Sungai Way.

They also roped in residents from the nearby Desa Mentari flats and educated them on the importance of keeping the river clean.

After a year of river rehabilitation activities, including community awareness programmes and training sessions for the residents and GAB staff, the efforts are showing positive results.

The river now attracts birds and the wetland plants are thriving.

Members of the media, representatives of GAB and GEC, who visited the river yesterday, were impressed by the improvement of the river compared to its condition a year ago.

“We hope that by the end of the year, we could release some fish into the river.

“The GAB foundation has also worked with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage to install rubbish and grease traps at various locations along Sungai Way to help keep the river clean,” said GAB Foundation management committee director Renuka Indrarajah.

A resident representative from the Desa Mentari flats nearby, R. Saravanan, said initially it was difficult for residents to understand why they should not throw rubbish into the river.

“The understanding of the residents on the importance of keeping the river clean has improved and it shows in the river condition now.

“But we need cooperation from upstream communities like the market traders in Sungai Way and residents from SS9 and SS3 to stop throwing their waste into the river,” he said.

He said Desa Mentari residents had come a long way and now have a greater understanding on how to keep their environment, especially the river, clean after being involved in the Water project.

“We have residents going into the river to clear the waste voluntarily and they even have a small area to turn the waste into compost.

“We are grateful to the GAB Foundation and GEC for helping us to improve our river as it will also improve the quality of living here,” said Saravanan.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 05:46 AM   #76
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Making a splash
By SHARMILLA GANESAN


Clean-up efforts are making Sungai Way cleaner and healthier not only for aquatic life, but for those living nearby too.

Walking by the Sungai Way river in Selangor was an unpleasant experience less than two years ago. The water was “colourful”, thanks to the numerous plastic bags, empty containers and other rubbish caught in it. Forget about seeing any aquatic life. You’d be lucky to see into the water at all. And to top it all off, there was the pervasive stench of rotting garbage and pooled, dirty water.

Now, however, it’s a completely different picture. Garbage and grease traps have been installed to stem refuse, and young trees have been planted along the river bank. There are also little green “islands” at different points along the river, the beginnings of a proper habitat for flora and fauna.

This change was spearheaded thanks to the efforts of the GAB Foundation, the corporate responsibility arm of Guinness Anchor Berhad. The foundation focuses on three areas: environmental conservation, education and community.

The mainstay of the environmental thrust is the Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (WATER) Project, under which the River Rehabilitation Project was established. Launched in partnership with the Global Environment Centre (GEC), the project is a three-year programme that focuses on improving the quality of the water in Sungai Way, and engaging the communities living along the river to take responsibility for its condition.


Little sanctuaries: Small, vegetated islands along the river provide habitat for flora and fauna.

It is hoped that the project will create a working model of community participation in river management that can then be applied to other rivers nationwide.

The main sources of pollution to Sungai Way are solid and liquid waste from residential, commercial and industrial areas. Thus, the project brings together the various stakeholders, including corporate companies, government agencies and the local communities to ensure long-term success.

The communities tapped to be involved in the project are those in the Kampung Lindungan, Desa Mentari and Desa Ria areas, with residents of SS3 and SS9A getting involved in the upstream river efforts.

GEC’s river care programme co-ordinator Dr K. Kalithasan stresses that it was very important to include the residents. “For most of the residents, solid waste management is just a matter of throwing and dumping. In order to make a significant, long-term difference, we have to involve the community in the process. It allows the community to take ownership of the river and express their views,” he says.

He explains that at the beginning of the project, Sungai Way’s water quality was classified as Class IV or V, which is at the lowest end. The project aims to bring it up to a Class III.


‘We have spotted catfish, eels, snakeheads, dragonflies and birds at the river,’ says Dr K. Kalithasan.
GAB Foundation management committee director Renuka Indrarajah says the project was mooted because clean water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource in Malaysia. “The signs are all around us. Most urban households have at least one water filter in their house, and Malaysians are starting to experience occasional water shortage. The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has also started to pay more attention to conserving our rivers.

“And of course, clean water is an essential ingredient of GAB’s products, and we feel we should contribute towards its conservation,” she explains. “Sungai Way is right in our backyard, and it badly needed help. It was the perfect place to kick things off.”

In order to impress the importance of river conservation, GAB and GEC organised workshops and training sessions for the residents to learn how to monitor the water quality of the river. Events like a study tour to Penang and a River Carnival were also organised to raise awareness of the campaign.

The next step was for the residents to implement measures to rehabilitate the river. Besides installing grease and rubbish traps, the residents also planted trees along the river bank. They further created habitats in order to attract fauna that would turn the river into a thriving ecosystem.

According to Kalithasan, when the project started, the river only contained snails, bloodworms and mosquito fish, because there was not enough flowing water and no shade.

The establishment of small green “islands” at various points in the river encouraged invertebrates to multiply in the river, which in turn attracted fish, insects and birds.


‘Sungai Way is right in our backyard, and it badly needed help,’ says Renuka Indrarajah.
“We cannot yet say how successful the efforts have been, but we have spotted catfish, eels, snakeheads, dragonflies and birds at the river, which is a very positive indication,” says Kalithasan. “The objective is to turn Sungai Way from a dead river into a living river.”

Furthermore, the project, in partnership with the Selangor Department of Environment, will engage the business community in the area to make them aware of their role in rehabilitating Sungai Way.

Currently, about 40 downstream residents volunteer on some weekends to pick up rubbish, maintain the green islands and trees, and clean the garbage traps. Several others are given an allowance to clean up the river on a daily basis.

GAB and GEC have also gotten the co-operation of the residents living upstream, and are waiting to provide them with training.

Desa Mentari co-ordinator and representative Saravanan Ratnam is confident that the residents will continue to take care of Sungai Way.

“Before, we only knew how to dump rubbish into the river, we didn’t think about what would happen afterwards. But now, we’ve learnt the importance of keeping the river clean. People are willing to go into the river and collect rubbish. This is something no one would have done before.

“The river used to be smelly and full of rubbish. Now, we are so proud of it. We can now look at it as a sungai (river) not a parit (drain),” he says.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 05:52 AM   #77
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Klang River to makeover!

image hosted on flickr
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Old November 5th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #78
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South Korea keen on Klang river rehabilitation project, says Khalid
Friday November 06 2009
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/i...ct-says-khalid



Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (left) seen here
at an official ceremony in this file photo - Picture by Jack Ooi


SHAH ALAM, Nov 5 — South Korea is keen to participate in the RM20 billion Klang River rehabilitation project that will provide the impetus to stimulate economic growth in Selangor, the country’s most developed state.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said he was informed that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will be visiting Malaysia next year and he (Khalid) is looking forward to meet him.

“South Korea is Selangor’s sixth largest FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) source, followed by Taiwan and Thailand,” he said when opening the 14th East Asian Entrepreneurs’ Summit 2009.

The Selangor Government ,in the recently unveiled economic stimulus package for the state, identified six major areas that are paramount to spur economic growth. The areas are cleaning and rehabilitating the Klang River, expanding the transportation system, upgrading and replacing water assets, urban renewal programme, reviving abandoned housing projects, and increasing paddy yield.

Khalid said the areas are expected to woo more than RM50 billion investments and create some 150,000 jobs.

The Menteri Besar said the state government will strive to attract investments in high value-added and technology-intensive projects.

He said the manufacturing sector remained the prime mover for Selangor’s economic growth.

“For the period between 2000 and July 2009, 2,812 manufacturing projects worth RM68 billion in total investment were approved. Of the total, RM35.43 billion were foreign investments,” he said.

The United States, Japan, Germany, Singapore and Britain are major FDI sources for Selangor, added Khalid, a former corporate figure. — Bernama

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Old November 6th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #79
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dats cool!!!....
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Old November 6th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #80
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But when? A lot of pollutions actually come from the squatters... where the river becomes their dumpster.
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