Save our Rivers National Conference. Study on Pinang River, Jelutong, Penang By Environmentalists Mohd NohAbd Rahim G.Bovaneswari
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Save our Rivers National Conference Study on Pinang River, Jelutong, Penang By Environmentalists Mohd NohAbd Rahim G.Bovaneswari Lee Yee Suen ©2006 Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran
Introduction • In Malaysia, water has been the subject of concern nationally for some time now • Of all natural resources, water is the most severely threatened by pollution • A developing country like Malaysia, having sufficient water is pivotal to its overall economic growth
Introduction A tropical country like Malaysia will face clean water shortage, something which can become a reality at the rate the rivers are being polluted these days.* * River Pollution Prevention and Water Quality Improvement in Malaysia, a research paper by Dr Zulkifli Abdul Rahman , DOE’s assistant director (river section)
Rationale • On a daily basis, human activities – industrial, agricultural and residential – cause vast quantities of natural and synthetic chemicals to be emitted into the atmosphere. • The resulting harm is difficult to evaluate, since it occurs over varying time frames and over vast areas having differing degrees of sensitivity. • The present study is an attempt to gauge the impact of human intervention on water resources in Malaysia
Objectives • To evaluate the physical, chemical and biological status of the water • To perform several tests on water samples • To collect information about the stage of water pollution • To identify whether the river is polluted
Objectives • To acquire knowledge of the agents of pollution • To analyse the causes and effect of water pollution • To evaluate the extent of water pollution in the surroundings • To suggest pollution preventive measures to the administration and the community • To create general awareness regarding water pollution issue in the community
Review of Related Literature • According to a study done by the Department of Environment (DOE) on 116 rivers nationwide, some 10 percent of these rivers are heavily polluted or dead, 63 percent are polluted and only 27 percent are healthy.* • Kuala Kedah, a rice farming district, was severely stricken with air and water poisoning from a pesticide factory. The ‘padi’ became diseased, together with coconuts and bananas. Poultry died. Villagers had sores on their bodies after using the nearby stream for washing.** * http://www.bernama.com.my ** Article on ENVIRONMENT- Industrial pollution in Malaysia by Kor Kok Wah, a Singaporean journalist with a keen interest in environmental issues
Shocking Fact • More than 2 million children under the age of five in the Third World die every year from drinking polluted water Source: Water-Asia’s Environmental Imperative, Singapore: AMIC, 1997
Research Questions • How can we preserve our freshwater habitats? • What is our role in preventing water pollution in our community?
Research Methodology • Select river • Field visit to the river • Observe on the basis of decided criteria • Collect water sample • Experiment on water sample • Analyse the results • Draw inferences • Suggest recommendations to overcome water pollution
Our Research Study on Pinang River, Jelutong, Penang
©2006 Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran Field trip details • Venue: Pinang River, Jelutong, Penang • Date: July 3rd , 4th & 5th, 2006 • Time: 8 am – 9.00 am every day
Basis of observation • Smell • Flow • Appearance • Turbidity (or lack of water clarity) • Water Properties
Field trip Observations • The colour of the river water has changed into brown. • Stink and pungent around the river • Dumped with debris & Plastic • Slums along the bank • Teeming with mosquitoes • Used as a toilet by slum dwellers and passers –by • No sign of fish • The debris and waste has made it almost stagnant. A section of Pinang river in Penang littered with plastic waste and rubbish. This shot was taken from Sungai Pinang Road leading to Jelutong Road
Experiment • Dissolved oxygen, • Bacterial content, • pH, and • Temperature
Analysis -Cause of pollution • Low Oxygen level - oxygen levels have dropped dramatically because of sudden algae population explosions • Inadequate sewerage and drainage systems • Forest harvesting and agricultural and urban development have resulted in the pollution of most river systems, affected ecological dynamics and disrupted natural food chains
Analysis -Effects of pollution • Turbidity - Low water clarity decreases the amount of sunlight available for photosynthesis. Suspended particles interferes with filter feeding and respiration through gills. • Concentrated industrial wastewater and agricultural run-off of fertilizer and chemicals into surface water affect levels of dissolved oxygen in water • Treatment of raw water from surface water sources for human consumption and for industrial use has become more complex and becomes costlier because of water pollution.
What are ways to overcome water pollution? • To effectively carry out its “One State, One River” programme to rehabilitate one river in each state as per the Ninth Malaysia Plan planned by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Malaysia • Adequate Sewage and Drainage systems • Formulate stringent pollution control regulations • Educate the people of this city to develop an ecological conscience • Sensitize people about the need of hour – to curb water pollution
What is our role in preventing water pollution? • Become informed - An informed and committed public can become a catalyst for environmental issues. You can make a difference! • Trust - Trust in the ability of the individual to take action on environmental issues, and work together with other individuals • Be open - Be willing to change your attitudes, behaviours, and expectations. • Act - Join and support local and national groups that work to solve environmental problems on institutional, national, and international levels.
What is our role in preventing water pollution? • Support - Urge and support federal, provincial, and municipal action on environmental issues. • Self Check - Do not use products that are harmful to the environment. Urge stores to abandon wasteful packaging and to use biodegradable materials. • Exercise your rights as a citizen: Request information, participate in public hearings, serve on advisory committees, and address review boards.
Let’s make this World a Better Place by doing our Best to Prevent and Control Water Pollution!
References • http://www.reach.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=399&Itemid=55 • http://www.reach.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=55 • http://www.reach.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=368&Itemid=55 • www.newint.org/issue114/progress.htm • http://www.bernama.com.my • http://iklan.emedia.com.my/adrevolver/href?place=49&rnd=1000 • http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/National/20051228091658/Article/indexb_html • http://thestar.com.my/