Dried leaves cleared away at Sungei Buloh, but not the rubbish

A recent visit to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve left me impressed by the peace and quiet of the place, its vastness and also the rich array of flora and fauna.

However, my experience was marred by the sight of heaps of rubbish - from styrofoam boxes and plastic bags to bottles and aluminium cans - trapped along the wetlands fronting the Strait of Johor.

The debris could have washed ashore from the strait and become trapped by the mangrove roots. I can tell that it will not be easy to clear this rubbish.

I was also taken aback when I saw cleaners sweeping dried leaves off the walkways in front of the visitor centre.

These dried leaves are part and parcel of the natural surroundings in a mangrove forest.

Why are the authorities clearing these away, but tolerating the rubbish in the water along the trails fronting the shoreline?

Perhaps the cleaners should be redeployed to rake in this rubbish daily, using sampans.

I am sure this will give visitors a better experience when they make a trip down to Sungei Buloh.

I am not suggesting that all the rubbish can be eliminated, but daily efforts can greatly minimise the problem without increasing the manpower costs involved.

Tan Chin Hwee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline 'Dried leaves cleared away at Sungei Buloh, but not the rubbish'. Print Edition | Subscribe