The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Call to continue efforts to address environmental issues
The environment plays a significant role in supporting life on earth. It is also an important part of community life in light of the fact that a clean environment can ensure health and well-being of the people.
“There is still a lack of awareness and consistent efforts among communities in villages and urban areas, and a tendency to rely on others to keep their environment clean. Health, hygiene and disease prevention should be stressed upon when talking about the environment,” said Kapayan assemblywoman Jannie Lasimbang.
She urge the GRS government to ensure continuity of the previous government’s good efforts to address enviromental and cleanliness issues, including legal and policy changes to ensure lasting impacts on people’s well-being.
“From 2018 to 2020, I started the ‘Kapayan Ku Indah’ campaign to advocate for a citizens movement, and to especially involve the youths in organising gotong-royong, 3R (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle), anti-littering, and making mudballs and composts. I have also worked in collaboration with NGOs and schools to raise awareness and hold activities in their respective neighbourhoods.
“I continue to support many school programmes annually, like the Program Sekolah Lestari in Penampang and KK, as I believe in inculcating responsibility to care for the environment from a young age,” Jannie added.
To ensure continuity of these activities, Jannie established TASK or Team Alam Sekitar
Kapayan to lobby for the formulation and implementation of stringent waste management and building by-laws by the local authorities and to ensure there are adequate provisions in the Local Government Ordinance 1961 related to these issues.
“Since 2018, there have been numerous complaints received by my Liaison Office and the Unit Pemimpin Pembangunan Masyarakat (UPPM) about uncollected trash at some housing areas and villages, and the extremely limited number of garbage bins in commecial areas. Other than that, I have also received complaints regarding foul smell from rubbish collection areas as they are not being cleaned.
“Although I am now in the opposition, I continue addressing issues related to cleanliness and the environment by collaborating with nongovernmental organizations like Tzu Chi Foundation, Tonibung and Kivatu Nature Farm.”
She also urged contractors who were given the task in the upkeep of drains to perform their duties well and to dispose of debris and cuttings instead of leaving them next to roads or drains.
Besides that, she urged the local authorities to provide regular updates on various complaints brought to their attention through their website.
Jannie thanked the Penampang District Council, Kota Kinabalu Municipal Council, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB), the Public Works Department (JKR) and other relevant departments for responding to the complaints that were forwarded by her office.