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Borneo, Kuching, Sarawak, Sarawak Environment, Sarawak Tourism

Additional RM1mln to clean up Sg Bintangor

THE Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has allocated an additional RM1 million to improve the water quality of Sungai Bintangor.

In case you didn’t know, Sungai Bintangor is a tributary of the Sarawak River and is located practically in Kuching city centre, running through Kampung Masjid.

You have probably driven by it in the past but mistaken it for a drain.

Over the years, sadly it has become one of the most polluted rivers around.

At present it is still between a category three and four river — with four being the worst rating.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas said recently that efforts will be made to improve water quality to category 2b.

In the last few years efforts have already been made to beautify the area with a waterfront and it is looking rather good.

The master plan is to link this esplanade with the Kuching Waterfront all the way from Grand Margherita Hotel.

Imagine being able to walk along the river all the way to Satok! That would be great not only for tourism but for city folk.

Currently the extended Kuching Waterfront is well used by locals for exercise early in the morning, for events that bring the people together and for hanging out with family and friends.

Anyway I digress. Sungai Bintangor won’t be pleasant to walk along if it remains polluted.

Dato Sri Uggah said a system similar to the one used to rehabilitate the Klang River, known as the River of Life, would be used for Sungai Bintangor.

The system involves River Cleaning, River Masterplanning and Beautification and River Development.

Preliminary infrastructure for Sungai Bintangor such as gross pollutant traps would be set up in order to prevent solid waste from flowing through monsoon drains into the river. There are also grease traps due to the eateries in the area.

All this is to minimise solid waste and oil from reaching the river. Other solid waste would be collected with a log boon, such as what is being done for Sungai Sarawak.

It is good to know efforts are being made to clean up the city’s rivers. Hopefully Kuching folk will play their part to keep our rivers clean too.

The report from The Borneo Post:

More fund to clean up Sungei Bintangor approved

KUCHING: An additional RM1 million has been set aside to improve the water quality in Sungai Bintangor, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas announced here yesterday.

He said the project was part of the government’s 1State 1River programme to improve the condition of rivers especially those within the city centres.

He said for Sarawak the government had selected Sungai Bintangor although it was just one of the many badly polluted rivers in the city and state.

“There are other heavily polluted rivers but we are giving priority to Sungai Bintangor because it’s right in the middle of the city centre where at the moment the quality is between three and four. The worst is four and at the best time it is three so our target is to improve its pollution level to class 2b.

“The reason is we want to make sure that the water body like Sungai Bintangor can become an attraction to the city. So if the water is dirty and smelly it will not be an attraction and this is really sad,” he said.

He said that the RM1 million additional fund would be spent on preliminary infrastructures such as setting up of gross pollutant traps in order to prevent solid wastes flowing through monsoon drains from going into the river.

“Apart from that we also have to set up some grease traps because as we all know there are a number of restaurants and so on here.

“In other words, we try to minimise solid waste and oil from reaching the river because those are the source of pollution, foul smell, so on and so forth. Of course, some solid wastes will still float in the river and to collect that we also plan to have a log boon,” he added.

Uggah was speaking to reporters during his site visit together with heads of various relevant agencies to Sungai Bintangor here yesterday.

He later explained that the approach they used to rehabilitate Sungai Bintangor was similar to the one used to the one in Kelang Valley called the River of Life.

According to him, prior to this over RM20 million had been spent to rehabilitate Sungai Bintangor including constructing concrete walls and pavement.

He pointed that the other major river improvement project was at Sungai Bedil which was implemented by Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) with a cost of RM6 million and another package of RM4 million announced by prime minister during his walkabout to the area last year.

Meanwhile, he said that the tender for the construction of river wall and completion of the proposed heritage trail would be called next month.

The river wall, from the mouth of Sungai Bintangor right up to Brooke Dockyard stretching 570 metres is expected to cost around RM6 million.

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