43% less rubbish removed from Sg Klang during MCO

Workers seen near Sg Klang in Kuala Lumpur. The river’s WQI readings at Class III are almost 90% during the MCO compared with the 46% recorded a year ago. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, April 20, 2020.

THE amount of rubbish removed from Sg Klang has dropped by almost half during the movement-control order (MCO) period, said Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd (LLSB).

It said 580 metric tonnes (MT) were collected under the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) project from March 15 to April 15 compared with the average of 900MT to 1,200MT per month over the last six months  – a reduction of 43%.

LLSB is tasked by the Selangor government with reviving Sg Klang through cleaning, rehabilitation and rejuvenation works under the SMG project.

According to the company, the recorded water quality index (WQI) readings at Class III were almost 90% during the month-long MCO compared with the 46% recorded a year ago.

“This is a clear indication that minimising the movement of people and business operations can help our rivers heal, as indicated by the higher frequency of our WQI at Class III,” said LLSB managing director Syaiful Azmen Nordin.

Last year, a World Bank report said economic growth and river pollution were intrinsically linked, whereby declining water quality could impact the health, agriculture, tourism, real estate, aquaculture/fisheries and other sectors relying on good environmental quality and ecosystem services.

The biological oxygen demand (BOD) – a key parameter when assessing overall water quality – of Sg Klang has been steadily improving since last year.

Between January and April 2020, its BOD stood at an average of 7.7 mg per litre (mg/L), down from the average of 41.2mg/L in the same period a year ago.

A range of 2 mg/L to 8 mg/L is indicative of a moderately polluted river, whereby the higher the reading, the higher the pollution level.

“The Covid-19 pandemic may have indirectly improved the quality of our waterways while impacting our GDP, but how we manage our river ecosystem after this crisis will help determine how fast our national economic growth recovers,” said Syaiful.

The SMG project covers 56km of waterways from Mid Valley City to the river mouth at Port Klang, and has seven log booms, complemented by The Interceptor from Dutch civil group The Ocean Clean-up, that catch rubbish.

There are also two solar-powered water quality monitoring stations that provide real-time WQI readings for Sg Klang.

The MCO, which came into force on March 18,  is in its third phase till April 28. – April 20, 2020.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.