Sunday, May 16

Waste management project a win-win solution

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Madius (third left), with Dr Hazland on his right, listens to a briefing by Kampung Bako villager Jaafar Hamzah on how organic waste could be turned into compost.

Madius (third left), with Dr Hazland on his right, listens to a briefing by Kampung Bako villager Jaafar Hamzah on how organic waste could be turned into compost.

KUCHING: Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), through Mosti Social Innovation (MSI) project, has the ability and resources to help turn the waste management project in Kampung Bako into a success story.

According to minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, the outreach programme is a way for the government to help solve various social issues — in this case, proper waste disposal that directly affects the community and their livelihood.

“Waste management is always a big challenge for those living in populated areas such as Kampung Bako.

“We are proud that we have science and technology to help solve issues concerning waste disposal and most importantly, innovative ways to deal with it,” he said after handing over the MSI project to the village security and development committee (JKKK) at Kampung Bako Compost Centre, about 30km from here, yesterday.

In addition, he said Mosti would welcome ideas from the villagers that had the viability and practicality to benefit the community as a whole and if found to be viable, the ministry would endorse them.

Madius also commend the villagers for their initiative to work together with Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which acted as the training facilitator for the waste management project.

“This project should be able to boost socio-economic transformation of the community. I laud the villagers, Jica and the state government on their collaboration in such a great initiative.

“What the villagers have done is to help sustain the environment and keep their area clean. In the process, they would also be able to benefit from the economic gain through business opportunities,” he said.

Madius cuts the ribbon to mark his visit to the compost centre. On his left Dr Hazland.

Madius cuts the ribbon to mark his visit to the compost centre. On his left Dr Hazland.

Madius disclosed that MSI had the fund to implement innovative programme on waste management that not only involved technology, but also the community. On this, he encouraged any individual or village committee to come forward and request for assistance should they encounter problems.

“We will help solve the problem and at the same time, help them turn waste to ‘wealth’. For Kampung Bako, I want to see the project here become successful — I want to come back to see it again,” he assured the villagers.

On the potential of turning the project into something that would commercially benefit the community, Madius stressed that they must also know how to market and brand the end-products.

According to him, Mosti has an agency called Malaysian Design Council that can help in packaging and value-adding products.

“We helped design the packaging for ‘Kek Lapis Sarawak’, which almost immediately add value to the products. The same goes for products deriving from the project in Kampung Bako.

“For instance, the compost (from the MSI project) has the potential to be marketed as organic fertiliser that is safe for crops and humans. Those with good ideas for this product can come to us and learn more about how to package and market such offering.”

Meanwhile, Madius called on the villagers to continue supporting the government and support its representatives so that they could bring more development to Kampung Bako and its surrounding areas, which house many major attractions such as Bako National Park.

“Your village co-op (cooperative) has been getting income from ferrying visitors to the national park. I am sure that there’d be more income coming in if you could come up with and implement more innovative ideas, like making money from waste and helping to make your village cleaner.

“The cleaner the village, the better it could attract visitors and the more money you could make out of it,” he said.

Madius later inspected the compost centre in Kampung Bako Hilir, where the villagers had been manufacturing compost out of food and garden waste.

The minister was accompanied by Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Hipni, Malaysian Foundation for Innovation chief executive officer Muhammad Aziph Dato Mustapha, state Natural Resources and Environment Board controller Peter Sawal and Kampung Bako headman Ketua Kaum Wahid Morni.

Madius signs the commemorative plaque to officiate at the handover of the MSI project to Kampung Bako Compost Centre.

Madius signs the commemorative plaque to officiate at the handover of the MSI project to Kampung Bako Compost Centre.