23rd August 2015 – Kuala Lumpur City Hall has launched the Bunus Hidden River Walk and the Sungai Bunus Education Centre as part of its River of Life Public Outreach Programme (ROL-POP) at the Malay Agriculture Settlement Board of Management office in Kampung Baru.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) via the Centre for Community and Industry Network (CCIN) is one of the main partners contributing towards the development of the Sungai Bunus Education Centre which is an initiative under the ‘Sungai Untuk Kehidupan Anda’ (SUKA) programme.
UTM, through its many water experts, continues to play an important role in educating and changing the attitude of Malaysian communities towards the role of river.
Years of development and human activities have reduced Sungai Bunus to a polluted storm-drain and hidden away from public view. The education centre aims to provide information and to create public awareness on the importance of preserving rivers by eliminating pollution, which mainly originates from residential and commercial areas.
During the launch, eight UTM postgraduate students led by Dr Norhayati Abdullah, the chair of Young Water Professional International Water Association (IWA), assisted and participated in several activities involving 60 school children, organized by Asia Pacific Environmental Consultant Sdn Bhd (ASPEC), a consultant agency.
Future planning involve UTM collaborating with the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID). According to Puan Ramona Abd. Rahim, CCIN Deputy Director, the Sungai Bunus Education Centre, located in UTMKL, is anticipated not only to be the referral and research centre for researchers and academicians, but will also act as an information channel, creating public awareness on the importance of caring for the rivers.
Mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, who officiated the launch, said he was in full support of the programme. ROL-POP is a project initiated by DID, DBKL’s Local Agenda 21 unit, and ASPEC which involves the preservation, conservation and beautification of the Klang and Gombak rivers, which is now 50 per cent complete.
Other phases in the SUKA programme, included SUKA 1 and SUKA 2. SUKA 1 focused on ‘Rejuvenating Taman Sungai Bunus’, which comprised collaborative activities in cleaning up areas around Hulu Sungai Bunus, in conjunction with the World Earth Day, while SUKA 2 involved a river festival in conjunction with the World Rivers Day.