Dr Maximus (third right), flanked by Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (second right) and Deputy Kapit Resident Minggu Jampong, hands over the RM1,000 activity fund to SK Kampung Baru headmaster Sham Sepah.

‘Be prudent in water and energy usage’

KAPIT: Residents here have been advised to conserve water and energy towards the goal of reducing carbon footprint, which is the contributing factor to global warming.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili stressed that towards this end, everybody would need to work together towards a sustainable development as advocated by the government.

“Malaysia has adopted a sustainable development that incorporates environmental landscape, economic sustainability, as well as economics of forestry and water resources towards preventing river siltation and pollution, and also air pollution,” he said at the launch of Sarawak Ya Hijau Roadshow 2016 at the town square here yesterday.

Dr Maximus said he learned that the town’s water consumption was around 15 million litres per day, while electricity usage rate was at 7.2 megawatt.

“This means, on average, water usage for one family is about 300 litres per day – 40 per cent of which is used in bathrooms and toilets. Don’t waste water and energy. Turn off the tap if you’re not using water. Switch off electrical appliances and lighting when not in use,” he advised.

On the other hand, Dr Maximus said he was very drawn to the scenic beauty of the rivers across this division and Sibu, as well as the settlements along them.

“Throughout my journey via boat from Sibu to Kapit, I observed beautiful longhouses built on both banks of the Rajang River. I’d say some of the longhouses are even better than the terraced houses in town. Having said this, the ‘Pesta Air’ (water festival) and Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari are meaningful events to the Kapit folk – those that signify and remind us of the importance of rivers to our lives. The cleaner the water, the better it is for us because it can go straight for domestic consumption,” he said.

On the roadshow, which is a collaboration between his ministry and Yayasan Hijau Malaysia (YaHijau), Dr Maximus said it would be focusing on Sabah and Sarawak, with particular emphasis on school-children.

“It is to instil in them (students) the spirit of ‘safe, green and natural environment’ – the green lifestyle. Every effort, no matter how small, could bring positive impact to the environment.”

Dr Maximus said under the programme, five schools in this district had been ‘adopted’ by Ya Hijau – SMK Kapit, SMK Kapit 2, SK Methodist, SK Kampung Baru and SK Kapit.

“Each school receives RM1,000 to carry out green activities. We hope that these students would endorse the spirit of green lifestyle among their peers and members of their communities.”

The next leg of Sarawak Ya Hijau Roadshow 2016 will be in Sungai Asap (Belaga), Lawas in Limbang.