GREENFOLK out to green the city
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
An average Malaysian produces between 0.8 kg to 1.2 kg of rubbish every day.
While this might not seem like a lot of rubbish, imagine the amount of unregulated rubbish we dump on a regular basis – a good example being the case of Sungai Tabuan.
Thirty years ago the river was once essential for daily activities and consumption.
Today, residents near the river complain of its foul stench coming and how the overflowing rubbish sometimes leads to flash flood within the area, a factor also partially caused by a portion of the river being diminished by developers in the nearby area.
As recently as May 14th, a site inspection by Jonathan Manggah, an officer from the Natural Resources and Environmental Board (NREB) found that the river is still not fit for human use despite a campaign launched September 21st last year ‘Let’s Keep Sungai Alive 2014 Outreach Programme’ to keep the river clean.
Realizing how important it is to manage rubbish responsibly, a group called The Champions, a local community of young people aiming to create changes and bring positive socio-economic impact in the community is doing their part to help save the environment.
During ‘The Champion Empowerment Series’ talk entitled ‘Waste and Our Generation: Youths Can Make a Difference’ at Transformation Centre in Taman Stutong Indah, The Champions announced that they will be organising a city wide environmental campaign called ‘GREENFOLK’.
GREENFOLK campaign is a collaboration between The Champions with Sarawak Development Insitute (SDI), Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak (YPS) & TRIENEKENS.
According to president of The Champion, Julian Sim, the campaign is initiated to create the most impact on social and environmental impact among the community.
“We also recognise the reality of the situation, where different individuals have different opinions and thoughts about the environment. It would be unwise to assume that everyone to jump on a sampan and sport fishing nets to clean the polluted rivers. So we came up with the different levels in GREENFOLK. Something for everyone,” said Julian.
The campaign is expected to start next year from February to November. Membership and participation compromises three different levels which are; Level 1- #ANAKBANDAR, Level 2- Campus Initiatives: the Empowerment Series + GREENFOLK Campaign and Level 3- GREENFOLK: Outreach.
Level 1 of GREENFOLK campaign, #ANAKBANDAR involves cleaning and restoring 10 streets around Kuching over the course of 10 months, one for each month.
The one-day event focuses on raising awareness of those involved by getting the volunteers to clean the streets, washing the walls, sweeping and picking rubbish and beautifying the city and restoring the street either to its original state or a ‘refreshed’ look with street art, murals and sculptures.
According to Julian, they seek to engage communities of local artistes and creatives as well as undergraduates pursuing education in the arts to be involved in Level 1.
Level 2 is an environmental-recycle campaign which would involve participation of both staff and students from local universities and colleges by instilling a habit of sorting and disposing their waste in an environmentally responsible manner.
The campuses would act as a collection area for recyclable waste materials where both students and staffs are encourage to dispose recyclable materials when they head to campus. Bins and waste collection services will be provided by TRIENEKENS throughout the campaign.
Level 3 of GREENFOLK will have participants visit four of the most polluted sites in the city to carry out an outreach engagement initiative and/or a clean-up of the areas.
“We intend to get 10 universities or colleges in Kuching to be a part of Level 2 and all the different youth-groups in Level 1 and 3,” according to Julian in an email reply.
“We are open to collaborate and partner with any organization who also seeks to bring about positive social environmental change,” added Julian.
Those who are interested in volunteering or be a part with the campaign may check out their website http://www.thechampionskch.com/ or their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thechampionskch?pnref=story and do be on the lookout for the launch of Greenfolk next year!