Kg Lumapas residents express concerns over illegal dumping

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE docking area for boats at the government housing scheme in Kg Lumapas ‘A’ has been used as an illegal dumping area for three years running because of the lack of environmental awareness for some of the residents who migrated to land from the water village.

The docking area is a public facility for fishermen to load and unload saltwater fishes from the sea for sale. It was built in the same year when the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme Kg Lumapas ‘A’ was completed in 2008 at a cost of about $6.5 million.

Locals who applied for the housing scheme migrated into the area a year later.

In an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday, residents who have lived in Mukim Lumapas since 1940s said the littering of plastic and food waste in the river destroyed the surrounding environment.

Jaini Abdullah, a resident from Kg Lumapas, said the plastic littering should be addressed as it poisons the marine organisms along the Sungai Kilugus behind the government housing scheme.

“The river (Sungai Kilugus) is connected to the Brunei River in the capital. It can affect the economical development of the nation as it can destroy the tourism industry,” he said.

“The rubbish will float towards the water village in Bandar Seri Begawan,” Jaini said, adding that tourists are more likely to visit the water village in the capital as it is one of Brunei’s popular landmarks.

Irresponsible people should stop throwing food waste into the river because the act of littering is unpatriotic, said Jaini.

“Don’t be selfish. Think about the consequences to the new generation. We don’t want our young generation to grow up in a dirty environment,” he said.

Empty bottles dumped into the river could affect the health of the people, especially children, said Jaini.

“We don’t want our children to have malaria because of our selfishness. We need to take care of the river,” he said.

Another resident of Mukim Lumapas, Rahmat Hj Tuah, said people should dumb rubbish at the waste disposal site at Bukit Bunga, which is a five-minute drive from the docking area.

The restaurant owner said the river is a source of income for local fishermen as they sell their fisheries to restaurants in the country.

“If the river is poisoned, restaurants have to import fish from outside Brunei and left out our local fishermen,” said Rahmat.

A fisherman, Jalit Kundal, who is also a resident from the government housing scheme, said he saw irresponsible people dumping rubbish bags into the river in the evening.

“They don’t want to drive five minutes to Bukit Bunga waste disposal site because they are lazy,” he said.

Jalit noted that the lack of warning signboards also promoted litterbugs dirtying the river.

The Brunei Times