Wednesday, December 8

1,196kg of rubbish collected from Mataking beaches

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HAPPY TO HELP: The participants pose for a group photo after the successful clean-up programme.

TAWAU: About 100 guests and staff of a resort, security forces as well as students took part in a series of programme recently to clean up the islands of Mataking, Kalapuan and Pandanan as well as Mataking House Reef during which 220 bags of rubbish weighing 1,196 kg were collected.

The clean-up exercise was organised by the Reef Dive Resort in collaboration with WWP Malaysia in cojunction with the Seventh Annual Reef Check and Reef Day.

The participants comprised management and staff of Pulau Mataking, Green Semporna, Reef Check Malaysia, Wanita Pulau Omadal (Wapo), guests at the resort, students from SMK St Patrick and SMK Tawau, SMK Tagasan in Semporna and children from nearby Kalapuan Island.

The General Operation Force and Armed Forces personnel from their bases in Mataking also took part.

Also present were Resort Manager Patrick Guillaumin-Galland and the Green Semporna president Miss Rhena Ismail.

Muhammadd Adzmin Abd Fatta and Mohd Fatnin Ihsanuddin from Green Semporna gave an awareness talk on coral reef and sea turtles.

The participants then split into groups and carried out a clean-up of the beaches at Pulau Mataking Besar and Mataking Kecil, Pulau Kalapuan and Pulau Pandanan.

Scuba divers, guests and staff of the resort also cleaned up the already beautiful Mataking House Reef.

In just a few hours, the groups collected over 220 full bags of rubbish from the beaches and underwater, weighing a total of 1,196kg, including two tires and a washing machine.

Following their marathon clean-up, the participants then enjoyed a buffet lunch at the resort restaurant, followed by an afternoon of quizzes and games on the resort grounds, while scuba divers were transplanting coral on dedicated coral frames.

Prizes were given out for teams which collected the most amount of rubbish from beaches and underwater. The Kalapuan children were also rewarded with assistance for their special gangnam style performance while Mataking staff performed a memorable poco-poco dance.