Students lead cleaning campaign in Kampong Ayer
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A GROUP of students have banded together to lead a cleaning campaign at the water village’s Kampung Bolkiah A, which has seen less rubbish in recent months.
The campaign, named Brunei River Clean-Up by an environmental youth group, was part of ongoing efforts to ensure Kampong Ayer is clean for tourists and residents to enjoy.
Chief organiser of the sixth Brunei River Clean-Up, Siti Nur Mazjimah Musa, said all residents and visitors must take responsibility in ensuring they do not litter and damage the environment.
“Kampong Ayer is the major attraction in Brunei, and there are so many things to see here, so we must ensure it is well-preserved by keeping it clean,” said the 26-year-old Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) nursing student.
Siti Nur Mazjimah observed that there has been a decrease in the amount of litter at the water village.
A UBD study had concluded that the rubbish in and around Kampong Ayer could fill about 50 million standard-sized garbage bags if it were to be collected, according to The Brunei Times report in 2009.
The study said removing the rubbish would be a very difficult task since a majority of the rubbish was not accessible.
Siti Nur Mazjimah said the Brunei-Muara District Office had taken action to reduce the amount of litter, but should also assist in providing proper waste disposable services in every village and encourage residents to use them.
“We want to raise awareness for the people, because not having a clean environment is visually bad and it will affect their lifestyle and the surrounding aquatic life,” she said.
Kg Bolkiah ‘A’ Village Head Shahminan Hj Matzin also said that the amount of litter had decreased in the area.
“I have been the village head since 2009, I have gathered the villagers together once a month to clean up the village since then,” he told The Brunei Times.
“It is very important for all residents in Brunei to realise that a dirty environment will affect our lifestyle and hygiene,” he added.
Shahminan believes that the water village must be kept clean at all times to attract tourists.
“If the area is not clean, tourists would not like it here and it will prevent them from visiting our beautiful and traditional heritage,” he said.
The village chief said the Brunei River Clean-Up is the second campaign conducted this year.
“We are not forcing the villagers to join, but we encourage them because this is their home,” he said, adding that a clean environment could reduce the chances of infectious diseases from spreading.
A total of 65 volunteers turned up for the river cleaning project, including 36 students and 29 villagers.
One of the volunteers, Lee Yee Ling participated in the clean-up with her Chung Hwa Middle School students.
The teacher said youth should be educated about keeping the environment clean.
“This is learning outside of the school, for them to understand the importance of conserving the water village,” she said.
The Brunei Times