Waterways choked by wild vegetation


MIRI: Some waterways here are choked by wild vegetation, and this has caused flooding problems.

One of the areas being suffocated is Sg Lutong, but the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) has sent down men to clear wild growth such as water hyacinths and weeds.

Assistant Minister of Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who paid a visit to Kampung Batu 1 in Lutong to oversee the clearing effort on Thursday, said a more effective way had to be found to prevent a recurrence of water hyacinths choking the river.

He lamented that the growth of wild vegetation in Sg Lutong was so pronounced that strangers could easily mistake it for a field and not a river. Although the river is about 3km away from Curtin University, it had caused the university’s lake to overflow.

“Perhaps, there’s a remedy that the villagers know about that we could use, such as introducing fish or organisms that
feed on the plants,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, DID Miri and Bintulu director Law Wee said there was a need to clear the river at least once a year, especially before the monsoon season.

Apart from manually clearing the river, there is currently no practical solution to curb the growth of water hyacinths.

Some people believe that the thick vegetation was due to discharge from nearby farms and rubbish dumps.

These discharge, they claimed, contained high levels of nitrates which fuel the growth of plants such as water hyacinths.