Pollution beyond damage control

One week later after the pontoon was swept ashore at Teluk Keke, Ecoteer volunteers and school children were back to do another beach clean up. The rubbish collection has started on 15th April. If this is done on a daily basis, supposedly no operators would bring the rubbish to the pontoon. Although the pontoon was anchored back to its original place, it might not be for the best because when there is no collection, they will start to transfer all waste to this floating rubbish dump site and pollution will once again happen.

Majlis Daerah Besut did come and clean up the mess but sorry to say this, the effort wasn’t good enough. There were still rubbish lying on the beach and plenty of plastic bags floating in the sea. It had rained for almost a week and maybe nature has its way to cleanse the ocean. However, looking at the amount of trash we produce, it’s way beyond what nature itself can do. Hopefully a beach clean up would at least tidy up the beach a bit.

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Perhentian Islands are paradise. Tourism industry has developed fast but is it sustainable? If pollution continues to happen and nobody cares, the environment conditions will only deteriorate. I see before my eyes how rubbish, solid or liquid waste goes straight into the sea. As much as the country wants to promote tourism and develop the island, it is crucial to protect the environment and its wildlife.

Not all operators have proper waste system. Even in the village, the sewage system can’t be considered good. There is just a fence to block physical waste from flowing into the sea. What about waste that human eyes can’t see, like E. coli, etc? If I were just a tourist, I would be here just a couple of days and then I would be gone. However, for villagers who have been here for centuries and for a better future, how can anyone still choose to be ignorant?! Most locals admitted that the economic has increased since tourism started, however has their environmental awareness improve? Even if the community is aware, they need a waste management system. There are not enough rubbish bins in the village or anywhere else at Perhentian. Where to throw the rubbish if not in the bins? Is it alright to dump the waste at the dump site knowing well that there is no collection? Open burning is forbidden but that’s the only solution to get rid of the rubbish if it is not shipped out of the island!

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There might be things that is beyond our strength, however, being a responsible tourist helps a lot. Please don’t litter and if possible, bring your waste out of the island to reduce the accumulation of rubbish. After living on the island for more than a year, I see how much waste we can produce every day and how severe pollution is due to human! Wherever human is, there is rubbish! Please…

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