Rubbish lay afloat near recently built government housing scheme at Kg Lurong Sikuna in Kg Ayer. Picture: BT/Arifubillah Masli
BY ARIFUBILLAH MASLI
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - KAMPONG Ayer’s rubbish is impossible to eliminate because of the issue’s complexity, said the acting director of Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe).
Hj Shaharuddin Khairul Hj Anuar said waste management in the water village is a “complex issue” even though it sounds simple. “It is impossible to eliminate the rubbish problem, but it is possible to reduce overtime,” he said in an email interview.
Waste strewn across the 1,616 hectare village continues to plague the centuries-old Kg Ayer despite repeated cleaning attempts.
The acting director said JASTRe faces many challenges in trying to resolve waste problems in the water village.
“There are many challenges related to waste generation, waste collection and disposal, and also the institutional framework that influence the manner in which waste is managed in Brunei Darussalam,” he said.
Hj Shaharuddin said some rubbish originated from upstream areas that eventually found its way into the Brunei River where Kg Ayer is built on.
“(This can be) from drains, streams, water course and river tributaries, with the flow of river currents and the occurrence of high and low tides,” he said, adding that not all waste were generated from Kg Ayer.
A Universiti Brunei Darussalam study in 2009 found that Kg Ayer rubbish could fill 50 million garbage bags, not including waste that had already sunk deep into the muddy river bed.
The acting director said rubbish is collected daily through a “house to house collection process” in Kg Ayer. “Each house is provided with a bin for the convenience of the people in Kampong Ayer to throw their rubbish. All the rubbish from the bins are then collected and brought to the waste collection point in Kg Kasat,” he said, adding that the wastes are then hauled and transported by compactor trucks to the Sg Paku landfill.
The acting director said the government, private sector, non-governmental organisations, Kg Ayer residents and the public need to play their part to tackle the waste issues.
He urged Kg Ayer residents to constantly keep the walkway and village clean by using the provided waste bins provided.
Hj Shaharuddin said Kg Ayer residents and members of the public need to be more responsible and environmentally aware of wastes, and not just rely on the government to manage the wastes.
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times