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Last Update: 14 Nov 2018
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Semadang River now clean and debris-free
Posted on : 06 Sep 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post online

Semadang River now clean and debris-free

September 6, 2018, Thursday


Dr Jerip (seventh right) and others give the thumbs-up during a photocall with DoA and SRB officers by the bank of Semadang River after releasing the fish and prawn fry.

KUCHING: Sungai Sarawak Kiri or popularly known among locals as Semadang River, is safe for bathing and recreational activities.

This assurance was given by Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, who said officers from Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) had recently conducted a study by taking water samples from the river.

“The study found that the bacteria count (including Escherichia coli) in the river is very low. Therefore, Semadang River is safe for bathing and recreational activities,” he said during the Semadang International Tagang Festival at the village (Semadang) in Jalan Puncak Borneo near here recently.

However, he also expressed his concern that the river might soon be contaminated if residents of Kampung Annah Rais and those living along the river continue to discharge their toilet waste into the river.

He said this practice must be stopped immediately, and called on the residents to be responsible towards safeguarding the cleanliness and security of their river.

“It is the responsibility of everybody to keep Semadang River clean knowing that many tourists are attracted to the area, especially to Annah Rais, a popular tourist destination.

“It would be embarrassing if foreign tourists were to see the sewage from our toilets being discharged directly into the river.”

To help the residents get the ball rolling on this initiative, Dr Jerip said he would be allocating RM600,000 to the village (Annah Rais) for the residents to build septic tanks.

Dr Jerip also recalled a recent trip he made down Semadang River on a boat from Danu to Git, where he found out that the river was now clean and free from trash such as plastic bags.

“A few years ago, Semadang River was filled with debris and other waste such as plastic bags, which caused the fish population to dwindle.

“All that has changed today. The river is debris and trash-free. Also, there are plenty of fish in the river.”

He thus praised the initiatives taken by residents of Kpg Semadang, Danu and Git to improve the cleanliness of the river, and also the successful ‘tagang system’ implemented along the river.

He hoped that other villages along the river, namely, Annah Rais, Timurang, Bengoh, Giam and Sebetung would also participate in the tagang system programme introduced by the Sarawak Department of Agriculture.

During the Semadang International Tagang Festival, the Agriculture Dept supplied 50,000 prawn and 30,000 fish fry released at four locations along the river, namely,
at Semadang, Giam, Danu and Git.