Brunei River clean-up drive hit by lack of help from Kg Ayer residents

National 2 minutes, 3 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

CLEANING Brunei River is becoming quite a challenge for local Non-Governmental Organisation 1StopBrunei Wildlife as support from the Kampong Ayer community is hard to come by.

According to 1StopBrunei Wildlife’s head of ‘River Cleanups Project’, the lack of support could be due to the river cleanup activity being new and the community having certain understandable doubts regarding the implementation of the activities.

“We are planning to do nine river cleanups this year with the focus of our activities being in Kg Ayer,” Zymah Musa told The Brunei Times.

“Kg Ayer is our target because our objective is to clean the Brunei River,” she said.

“If we do not get their support, then there is no point (for the cleanups), because they are the ones living at these villages. This is one of the challenges we face, because you have to change the mindset of the community and this is a very big undertaking,” she added.

“We have had great support from some villages (in Kg Ayer) but for others it was difficult. I think they are worried about who will provide certain items such as refreshments and the trucks to dispose of the rubbish (after we collected rubbish),” she said.

She added that they are working together with the Brunei-Muara District Office, Ministry of Home Affairs to help provide them with the truck services for rubbish disposal.

1StopBrunei Wildlife plans to do river cleanups every month but that depends on the support from the heads of village in the respective villages. Zymah said they are still in the planning stage of contacting the village heads for future cleanups.

1StopBrunei Wildlife will continue working with the local communities, despite the lack of support, she said.

In addition to organising river cleanup project, animal rescue and release services and small-scale jungle excursions, 1StopBrunei Wildlife also raises public awareness via educational talks.

“Since river cleanup activities are still not as well known compared to our animals awareness events, we only received one invitation so far to organise a talk on river cleanup. We hope schools and teachers will invite us to give talks as education is important in instilling environmental awareness,” she said.

She added those interested in knowing more about river cleanups and wished to contact them can do so at 1stopbrunei.cleanups@gmail.com

For more information on 1StopBrunei Wildlife and its activities, members of the public can also visit http://www.1stopbrunei.com/.

The Brunei Times