Source from: New Straits Times, Streets
by: Veena Babulal
Waterfall Survivors and over 400 volunteers have two tonnes of rubbish to show for their efforts.
HULU SELANGOR: A beautiful relaxing spot has been tarnished by the disgusting habits of picnickers and campers.
Volunteers pick up condoms, diapers, beer bottles, soiled sanitary pads, plastic bags, food packages, paper as well as polystyrene cups and plates during the three-hour cleanup exercise.
Condoms, diapers, beer bottles and soiled sanitary pads were among the two tonnes of garbage picked up by over 400 volunteers in a major cleanup of Kedondong Falls, a popular cascade, here in the state's cradle of many waterfalls, yesterday.
Families and schoolchildren who participated in the event also found discarded clothing and bihun and rice crawling with maggots in the three-hour exercise organised by Facebook group, The Waterfall Survivors. The green group was set up to protect riverine areas nationwide.
Plastic bags, food packages, paper as well as polystyrene cups and plates were also found strewn across the stream's banks. The rubbish was caught between the rocks and attracting flies.
Schoolchildren also raked up several empty cans of inflammable lighter fluid left behind by campers. Rubbish bins, few and far between, were filled to overflowing.
Waterfall Survivors president Joe Yap said the group's first cleanup this year held special significance as it happened against the backdrop of the by-elections.
"We picked the date five months ago, way before the former member of parliament passed away. However, I think we are lucky that it fell on polling day as it is important to send a message to the newly elected MP that waterfalls and rivers have to be protected," she said.
Yap said there were many waterfalls threatened by development as well as litterbugs in the area. One such waterfall is the Serendah Falls.
Other waterfalls in the area include Sungai Chiling, Sungai Tua, Ulu Tamu and Ulu Yam.
"This cleanup will make voters realise the importance of preserving our streams as well as the importance of electing a leader who is green conscious," she said.
The event was supported by Tourism Selangor as well as the Tourism, Environment and Public Affairs state committee.
Participants woke up at the crack of dawn to reach the falls at 8am. Most took the buses departing from various points in the Klang Valley to the cascade which is perched on a hill at Batang Kali in Jalan Gombak.
The event, which was held in conjunction with Earth Day, received a warm response from SMK Sri Ampang, Sunway University College and a number of orphanages.
Mohd Imran Mohd Noor, who participated in the cleanup, said: "I normally sleep in on weekends but I'm glad I woke up early for this as it was an eye opener.
"I now know the extent of the damage a litterbug can inflict. If one member of every family leaves something behind, all it takes is one weekend for this place to turn into a dump.
The 13-year-old came with 40 of his schoolmates from SMK Sri Ampang.
Other supporters of the event were the Rotary Club of USJ McGraw-Hill, Teva Footwear, World of Sports, OYL Manufacturing, Colgate Palmolive, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Bacfree.
This is The Waterfall Survivors' seventh cleanup exercise since it was established two years ago. It is its biggest so far in terms of number of volunteers. Plans to clean up four more waterfalls are in the offing.