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Kota Bridge, located in the heart of the royal town on Klang, was built in 1957 and opened by Sultan of Selangor Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah in 1959. (NSTP/ COURTESY KELAB WARISAN SUNGAI KLANG)

KLANG: Kelab Warisan Sungai Klang, a non-governmental organisation that champions river-cleaning efforts, hopes that one day the waters of its namesake would be categorised as safe for people to swim in.

Club president Jordan Ng said he wished to see Sungai Klang restored to how it was some 50 years ago, when the water was ideal for body contact.

“We have been actively organising community programmes where effective microorganism (EM) mud balls are thrown into Sungai Klang from the Kota Bridge on a regular basis since our inception. About 1,500 to 2,000 EM mudballs are thrown into the river each time to clean our waterways.

“It is our mission for the riverbed to be gradually cleared from decades of debris and toxins that have sunk to the bottom as pollution is a major concern.

“Coupled with Selangor’s log boom installation efforts and now the Interceptor 002 to trap floating rubbish, plus us cleaning the riverbed, perhaps one day, the waters of Sungai Klang can be purified. Our efforts must be holistic and I see this as a good move as we want to see Sungai Klang come back to life.

“We should work as a team. We want to bring back the days of some 50 years ago, where people swam in it and the water quality was good,” Ng told the New Straits Times.

Shaped and kneaded into the size of tennis balls, EM mudballs are made of ingredients such as brown sugar, rice bran and fruit peel enzymes and requires fermentation process.

When tossed in the river, the EM mudballs reduce algae growth and breaks down sludge and silt, clearing the water.

Ng said it was important to heighten awareness on keeping the rivers clean and to educate people on how to care for it.

The club, he said, had organised various events such as gotong-royong and weekend activities involving the community and students, who are taught how to produce EM mudballs.

“We need every layer of society to be onboard. Everyone must play their role and not be lax about it. I want to dispel the negative perception that Sungai Klang is a ‘Rubbish River’.

“I always advise the community that it is important to first and foremost keep our houses clean and refrain from littering or dumping rubbish into rivers and oceans.”

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