Plans underway to keep Sarawak’s rivers cleared of water hyacinths

Lee (foreground) with SRB officers clearing the water hyacinths along the Miri river.

By Brad Rantayy

MIRI, Dec 12: The existence of water hyacinths has been a major concern in a number of rivers in Sarawak for obstructing boat navigation, asserts Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin today.

As such, he felt that there was a need to conduct a comprehensive study and engage expertise to help control and remove the aquatic plant in order to keep the waterways clear of its dense infestations.

He added the plan to carry out a study and engage expertise for the purpose was crucial to help solve the problem in the long term.

“For Miri, efforts to control the growth of the aquatic plant is underway, we have today launched one of water hyacinth clearing exercises carried out from Kuala Miri until Pujut By-pass area spanning about 15km in distance,” he said.

He observed that proper measures and biological control are needed for a long term solution to control the growth of water hyacinths.

Lee disclosed that he was told by Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah that a a similar problem is being faced in Sungai Batang Oya, Sibu, whereby the dense infestation had obstructed boat navigation.

“That is why, we need to conduct a comprehensive study on how to control this water hyacinths problem as it is affecting not only rivers in Miri but a number of other rivers in Sarawak,” Lee pointed out.

On another note, he disclosed that some 4,170kg of rubbish were successfully trapped by two boom traps installed underneath Piasau Bridge and  Kampung Wireless here since its installation in February this year until today.

“The booms were installed on the second week of February this year and today we have successfully harvested 4.17 tonnes or 4,170kg,” said Lee.

Earlier he visited the two locations where the booms were installed.

Lee was accompanied by Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) chairman Dr Murni Suhaili, SRB assistant controller Region III Leonard Luhat Laing and Miri district officer Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf. — DayakDaily