EFFORTS are going to be made to clean up the banks of the Sarawak River.
I remember before the move of the Gambier Street market, the stench from the rubbish thrown into the river by the market was always rather unbearable.
Walks along the Kuching Waterfront always stopped as soon as we got near the market. The site of the rubbish floating everywhere was also very off-putting.
Now of course the walk is very pleasant all the way from the Riverbank Suites to the Brooke Dockyard.
I do look forward to the day when my family and I can walk all the way to Satok early on a Saturday morning!
Anyway, in the meantime, it is good to know that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Tourism are planning to set up a riverbank landscaping committee to clean up the Sarawak River’s banks.
The plans are for an initial RM500,000 in funding from the Federal Government for the committee to design, clear and plant indigenous trees along the Sarawak River.
Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said recently that the work would begin with the unsightly banks along future tourism destinations such as Medan Niaga Satok — the new location for the Satok Sunday Market.
The plan is for continued maintenance to be state-funded under the Drainage and Irrigation Department or local councils.
Datuk Amar Abang Johari said the Sarawak River would have a combination of concrete embankments such as the Kuching Waterfront and natural but properly landscaped banks.
“On the natural parts of the bank, we will plant only indigenous trees. There will be swamp plants and we’ll also bring back ‘forgotten’ trees like pokok pedada,” he is quoted as saying.
He added that parts of the landscaped banks would also be lit up.
Bringing back indigenous trees is a wonderful idea not only aesthetically but also for the environment and to encourage various species of birds and fish to return to the area.
The report from The Star:
Clean-up of Sarawak River banks being considered
KUCHING: Two ministries — one state and the other a Federal one — are mulling over ways to clean up the banks of Sarawak River.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said he was in discussion with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on the setting up of a riverbank landscaping committee.
“I think for a start, the committee will need about RM500,000 to design, clear and plant indigenous trees along Sarawak River,” Johari told reporters here yesterday when asked about the unsightly banks along up-and-coming tourism destinations such as “Medan Niaga Satok”.
The Medan will be the venue of the new Sunday Market, which will involve the relocation of hundreds of hawkers and stalls from Jalan Satok. The weekend market is a major tourist attraction in the state capital.
“I agree the banks need to look better. If the riverside is not ‘handsome’, then it’s not nice for tourists and locals to come and see,” Johari added.
The initial fund should come from the Federal Government, Johari said, after which the maintenance would be state-funded, to be carried out by either the Drainage and Irrigation Department, or the councils.
“Sarawak River should have a combination of concrete embankments (like the stretch along Kuching Waterfront) and natural but properly landscaped banks.
“On the natural parts of the bank, we will plant only indigenous trees. There will be swamp plants and we’ll also bring back ‘forgotten’ trees like ‘pokok pedada’.
“We also want to light up parts of the landscaped banks. It’ll look really good.”