PM calls for better Water Management
Malaysia's rivers continue to be badly polluted. Photo Credit: cleanwateraction.org
That Malaysia is blessed with abundant water sources is well known. So is the fact that many of those water sources are badly polluted and poorly treated. But it’s good to know that the country’s politician are aware of this and want to do something about it, including Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“Malaysia is blessed with plenty of water supply sources but we face a shortage due to global climate change and river pollution,” the prime minister said, according to the New Straits Times newspaper. “Commitment from all quarters is necessary to completely treat all kinds of effluent and industrial waste to protect our sources of clean water supply,” he added. “The three main causes of river pollution identified include agricultural and manufacturing industrial waste, domestic waste and farming activities.”
So far so good, but it’s not as if we did not know this. But here’s something encouraging. According to Najib, the country will have 77 new treatment plants by 2040 at a cost of RM52 billion. “A total of 46 treatment plants have been built nationwide so far but high capacity and modern plants would not work at an optimum level if there is low flow of waste,” he was reported as saying.
“Therefore, I urge the public to fully support programmes that connect sewerage pipes from premises to the public sewage system under the Sewerage Services Department,” he added.
The public can do its part, yes. Malaysians, sadly, waste vast amounts of water each day: as much as 300 liters of water daily, or almost twice the UN’s recommended standard of 165 liters per day. Many of the country’s citizens are also notorious polluters of local water sources by pumping sewage and household waste into them at alarming rates.
So yes, we must mend our ways and take better care of our water sources. Unless comprehensive measures are taken, the situation is bound to get worse. What with the onset of climate change, general warming trends globally and the increasingly erratic weather patterns, Malaysia’s water sources will need much better management if the country is to avoid the perennial curse of water shortages and the scourge of rivers becoming so polluted that they are little more than open sewers.