PENAMPANG: A River Rangers team will be set up in every village along the Moyog River, as a holistic approach to maintain cleanliness and conserve life and the ‘tagal’ system in the area.
Moyog assemblywoman Jenifer Lasimbang said the teams would comprise local communities such as rangers who look after wildlife in forest reserves.
“The teams need to exist following the plan to expand the tagal system here. We need to find the best way to explain to the younger generation the significance of the tagal system because many of them misunderstand it.
“To them, what is caught cannot be taken, but the tagal system is actually more about conserving available resources and making them sustainable, as the river is an important source.
“I propose to work in tandem with Community-Led Environmental Awareness for our River (CLEAR) and the Penampang District Council to make this special campaign a success,” she said, at the Penampang District Rakit Festival 2018 press conference, held in conjunction with World River Day 2018.
Jenifer went on to say that if every village by the Moyog River has its own ranger team, its members are not only able to observe for individuals polluting the river, but also find a way to stop river pollution as a whole.
She also approved a RM30,000 allocation to plant Vetiver grass at seven riverbanks of villages along Moyog River.
“This type of plant has long roots that strengthen the riverbank and prevent corrosion from strong currents. The grass is also proposed to be planted along foothills to rectify actions by irresponsible parties,” she said.
According to Jenifer, the grass planting is a pilot project in Penampang as part of an effort to maintain river sustainability in that area.
Jenifer, who is also Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation, said efforts to keep rivers clean were still at an unsatisfactory level and educating the local community to increase awareness on the matter was part of the issue.
Meanwhile, Penampang district officer Robert Stidi said this year’s Rakit Festival would be held at Kampung Mahandoi jetty on September 30.
“A total of 11 participants will take part in the decorated rakit contest, in addition to others who will participate in rakit racing, rakit pulling and rakit model, among others.
“We are expecting over 2,000 visitors to join in the festivities which will be officiated by Jenifer herself,” he said.
Robert also invited members of the public to join the event, which will also feature an anti plastic and plastic bottle campaign, to raise awareness on the importance of environmental care.