MYROLE RTM1- Featured GrASS on 25 Jan 2011, 330pm

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Dear Friends,

We here at GrASS need your help to help us gather the below mentioned items to help us raise funds for our shelter and other independent pet rescuers.

The items are:

Scrap Paper
Old Newspapers
Old Magazines
Unwanted uncooked/raw Acidic Fruits ( Oranges, pineapples, lime,lemons)
Unwanted uncooked/raw fruits
Unwanted uncooked/raw Vegetables
Brown Sugar
Rice Bran
Red Earth
Glass Jars/Plastic containers with lids
Cardboard boxes (any other cardboard materials)
Aluminium Cans
Expired Food Products

For more ways on how or what items you can donate to help please visit HERE

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Article: Making a splash

Tuesday August 11, 2009


Clean-up efforts are making Sungai Way cleaner and healthier not only for aquatic life, but for those living nearby too.

Walking by the Sungai Way river in Selangor was an unpleasant experience less than two years ago. The water was "colourful", thanks to the numerous plastic bags, empty containers and other rubbish caught in it. Forget about seeing any aquatic life. You'd be lucky to see into the water at all. And to top it all off, there was the pervasive stench of rotting garbage and pooled, dirty water.

Now, however, it's a completely different picture. Garbage and grease traps have been installed to stem refuse, and young trees have been planted along the river bank. There are also little green "islands" at different points along the river, the beginnings of a proper habitat for flora and fauna.

This change was spearheaded thanks to the efforts of the GAB Foundation, the corporate responsibility arm of Guinness Anchor Berhad. The foundation focuses on three areas: environmental conservation, education and community.

The mainstay of the environmental thrust is the Working Actively Through Education and Rehabilitation (WATER) Project, under which the River Rehabilitation Project was established. Launched in partnership with the Global Environment Centre (GEC), the project is a three-year programme that focuses on improving the quality of the water in Sungai Way, and engaging the communities living along the river to take responsibility for its condition.

Little sanctuaries: Small, vegetated islands along the river provide habitat for flora and fauna.

It is hoped that the project will create a working model of community participation in river management that can then be applied to other rivers nationwide.

The main sources of pollution to Sungai Way are solid and liquid waste from residential, commercial and industrial areas. Thus, the project brings together the various stakeholders, including corporate companies, government agencies and the local communities to ensure long-term success.

The communities tapped to be involved in the project are those in the Kampung Lindungan, Desa Mentari and Desa Ria areas, with residents of SS3 and SS9A getting involved in the upstream river efforts.

GEC's river care programme co-ordinator Dr K. Kalithasan stresses that it was very important to include the residents. "For most of the residents, solid waste management is just a matter of throwing and dumping. In order to make a significant, long-term difference, we have to involve the community in the process. It allows the community to take ownership of the river and express their views," he says.

He explains that at the beginning of the project, Sungai Way's water quality was classified as Class IV or V, which is at the lowest end. The project aims to bring it up to a Class III.

'We have spotted catfish, eels, snakeheads, dragonflies and birds at the river,' says Dr K. Kalithasan.

GAB Foundation management committee director Renuka Indrarajah says the project was mooted because clean water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource in Malaysia. "The signs are all around us. Most urban households have at least one water filter in their house, and Malaysians are starting to experience occasional water shortage. The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has also started to pay more attention to conserving our rivers.

"And of course, clean water is an essential ingredient of GAB's products, and we feel we should contribute towards its conservation," she explains. "Sungai Way is right in our backyard, and it badly needed help. It was the perfect place to kick things off."

In order to impress the importance of river conservation, GAB and GEC organised workshops and training sessions for the residents to learn how to monitor the water quality of the river. Events like a study tour to Penang and a River Carnival were also organised to raise awareness of the campaign.

The next step was for the residents to implement measures to rehabilitate the river. Besides installing grease and rubbish traps, the residents also planted trees along the river bank. They further created habitats in order to attract fauna that would turn the river into a thriving ecosystem.

According to Kalithasan, when the project started, the river only contained snails, bloodworms and mosquito fish, because there was not enough flowing water and no shade.

The establishment of small green "islands" at various points in the river encouraged invertebrates to multiply in the river, which in turn attracted fish, insects and birds.

'Sungai Way is right in our backyard, and it badly needed help,' says Renuka Indrarajah.

"We cannot yet say how successful the efforts have been, but we have spotted catfish, eels, snakeheads, dragonflies and birds at the river, which is a very positive indication," says Kalithasan. "The objective is to turn Sungai Way from a dead river into a living river."

Furthermore, the project, in partnership with the Selangor Department of Environment, will engage the business community in the area to make them aware of their role in rehabilitating Sungai Way.

Currently, about 40 downstream residents volunteer on some weekends to pick up rubbish, maintain the green islands and trees, and clean the garbage traps. Several others are given an allowance to clean up the river on a daily basis.

GAB and GEC have also gotten the co-operation of the residents living upstream, and are waiting to provide them with training.

Desa Mentari co-ordinator and representative Saravanan Ratnam is confident that the residents will continue to take care of Sungai Way.

"Before, we only knew how to dump rubbish into the river, we didn't think about what would happen afterwards. But now, we've learnt the importance of keeping the river clean. People are willing to go into the river and collect rubbish. This is something no one would have done before.

"The river used to be smelly and full of rubbish. Now, we are so proud of it. We can now look at it as a sungai (river) not a parit (drain)," he says.

This article was taken from: The Star Online: Lifestyle: Focus 11 August 2009

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