Environmental awareness increasing


Tuesday, September 3, 2013Screen shot 2013-09-05 at PM 02.12.56

Green Xchange project in Kg Sg Kebun

FURTHER efforts must be made to cultivate awareness among Bruneianson the importance of preserving the environment. Nevertheless, recent undertakings have shown evidence of increased environmental awareness and positive habits among locals, such as during the 5thGreen Xchange project held in Kg Sg Kebun, Kampong Ayer, on September 1.

Project manager Mohd Fadzil Afifi Hj Mohd Hussin reported fresh observations that the situation of littered waters around the KampongAyer areas did not appear to have improved since their first visit in January 2012: “From our public awareness events and on our recent dry runs (running up to the actual event), you can still see a lot of waste and rubbish thrown into the river”.

However, positive assessments could be made from the project, judging by first-time turnouts by Kg SgKebun villagers such as Hjh Dayang Hj Ludin, who was one of the earliest participants. Assisted by her maid and son, Hjh Dayang had brought in by boat some five months’ worth of recyclable material collected at her house.

“This is my first time, as I could not make it last year. My son helped me collect and store it, mostly old paper,” said Hjh Dayang proudly. She traded in her household waste for 31.5 kilogrammes of rice.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, noted in her speech the collaborative effort of the Green Xchange project: “What is interesting is that it drew the participation and involvement of village residents and members of the public… a positive indication that there is awareness in the community to collectively protect the environment.”

Two local recycling companies also made it to the event, helping organisers and villagers determine the weight and value of the recyclable waste brought to the village’s mosque compound.

Lim Wee Ann, managing director of Kawan Bumi Enterprise, told The Brunei Times that his company was supporting the project for the second time. “We only collect paper and plastic and we brought eight workers today to help. It’s good to help people out like this. Normally we go house to house or collect waste from small printing and shopping companies we’re contracted for,” said Lim.

Soon Kim Hai, owner of Industrial and Development Company for Steel Smelters, agrees that recycling awareness is still very low among Bruneians: “For recyclers like myself, the industry can be volatile as we depend on market pricing but many people still don’t realise they can always gain something from their rubbish. Most people just throw out everything.”

The Green XChange project is run by the Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT), which aims to promote the recycling habit and reduce household waste. The 5th instalment was sponsored by HSBC. The Brunei Times

Source: The Brunei Times
Author: Daniel Wood
Published Date: 3 September 2013

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