A THREE-year project to enhance community participation in the protection and rehabilitation of the severely polluted Sungai Pinang in Penang will begin this Sunday.
The RM100,000 Sungai Pinang River Care project is funded by HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad in partnership with Global Environment Centre.
It will be carried out in three phases with the support of the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and cooperation of the Penang Municipal Council, Department of Environment, Universiti Sains Malaysia, state Education Department, National Integration and Unity Department, Centre for Community and Environmental Development and Water Watch Penang.
The first phase involves the participation of five local communities and five schools — SMK Abdullah Munshi, SMKA (L) Al-Mashoor, SMK (L) Methodist, SMK (P) Methodist and SJKC Convent Datuk Keramat — in river monitoring.
In the second phase, the three most active schools will be selected and given grants to initiate mini projects such as river management and solid waste management.
In the third phase, recognition will be given to the most active school based on its performance while there will be a continuity of the mini projects and local community outreach programmes.
HSBC Bank Malaysia executive director and deputy chief executive officer Jonathan Addis said the objective of the project was to contribute positively towards the conservation of the river.
“It aims to increase the understanding on the benefits of managing our rivers well and develop ownership towards rivers among the public,” he said in his speech during the launching of the programme at the Penang Botanic Gardens on Friday.
DID river basin and coastal zone management director Datuk Ong Siew Heng said the project came under the 1State 1River Programme by the department.
“The 3.1km long river faces problems of flash floods and pollution,” he said.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng hoped that the project would be extended to other rivers in the state.