Wednesday, July 2, 2008


If visiting a garbage dumpsite will help instil awareness on the need to keep the environment clean and free from pollution, then the effort by the Kuantan (in the state of Pahang) Municipal Council is to be applauded.

MPK initiated the programme some 12 years ago aiming to educate secondary schoolchildren (Year 7 to 11) on the importance of safeguarding the environment. Now, they are targetting
primary schoolchildren with the same programme.

According to feedbacks from the participating schools, the postive changes in the attitude of the students see less littering in and outside the schools' compounds.

Community development and tourism director, Rose Samsul Abdul Razak recently led a group of
primary school goers and visited a dumpsite where they were given a talk on the adverse effects of waste not managed properly and also observed operations going on at the site. A question-and-answer session helped to reinforce the detrimental consequences of improper disposal of household and toxic chemical wastes. Life-sustaining water resources can easily be polluted by waste that is not properly managed.

Later, the kids were treated to a river cruise on Sungai Kuantan and even had a walk around a mangrove swamp where they were exposed to the importance of rivers and mangroves to both the environment and as habitats for certain animals and life forms.

Ten schools are in the line-up to participate in the programme which kicked off this April and will end in July with each school selecting 40 students plus 2 teachers.

Besides this, MPK has also introduced the recycling habit among schoolchildren and is actively
engaged in giving talks and organising related activities to educate and encourage the young generation in the important roles they are playing towards the conservation and preservation of
the environment.

It's truly a plus point to have caring people out there doing their part for the environment.... the only minus is, there is just not enough of these people around. Hopefully, other municipal councils will follow suit and have such laudable programmes. If all can work together towards a common goal, the concerted efforts will reap fruitful harvests.

I salute the boys and girls who braved the sun and the stench at the dumpsite and hope that they will keep in mind what they have seen and learned from their outing. That they will also put into practise, lessons imparted to them and cultivate clean-living habits for the rest of their lives. They are our hope for a better and cleaner world.

P.S : Rose Samsul informed parents that the safety of their children will be assured during
their visits to the dumpsites and will not be allowed to move around without supervision.

(Source : Metro News, , THE STAR - dated 1st July 2008)

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