KUCHING, April 6 — A more modern waste management system ought to be introduced and implemented in rural areas across Sarawak, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
“We cannot keep on relying on landfills in disposing our waste. This can affect the environment in the long run in our rural towns, villages and longhouses,” he said after witnessing the swearing-in of 33 councillors of the Betong District Council led by their chairman Alfred Galing Ason in Betong today.
Presently, Uggah said all the waste is sent to the landfills for disposal.
He, however, pointed out that such waste management system “is getting outdated”.
“It is high time we look at more relevant technology to properly get rid of (waste), especially those which we could not recycle. Those which we can recycle, we can send to the recycling companies.
“If we can have a proper facility, we can even share with neighbouring councils. Like in the Betong Division, we can share with the Saratok, Lubok Antu and Sri Aman councils,” he suggested.
He said the local councils could begin to explore such option.
“We can discuss any recommendations and seek our Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg’s help,” he said.
On the same note, Uggah also called on the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government to allocate more funds for waste management in rural areas.
According to him, there are villages and longhouses where council waste collection service is still not available.
“Some people are using the rivers to dispose of their waste without much consideration for the environment or cleanliness. This is very sad. We cannot allow this to carry on,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Uggah urged rural councils to tackle the stray dog problem as rabies was still a threat in the state.
He also called on councillors of the Betong District Council to work as a cohesive team in trying to make Betong the cleanest division in the state soon.
“The issue of cleanliness and the environment are very common complaints from the people now. So it is our responsibility to look into and solve their complaints,” he added.
Among those present were Layar assemblyman Datuk Gerald Rentap Jabu, Betong MP Dr Richard Rapu and Betong Resident Richard Micheal Abunawas. — Borneo Post