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Raw Sewerage in Kota Kinabalu’s Waterways

On the way home for lunch this afternoon I drove along the big open canal that runs parallel to the road. It’s a big storm-water permanently filled with water, not sure if it ever was a river. But I think today it was used for raw sewerage dumping.

On a good day it’s quite disgusting – it forever smells of god-knows-what and is usually a dark, murky black-green. In a demented kind of way this isn’t so bad, because it reflects the blue skies, making it seem less dubious than it is.

Today however, as I glanced down the tributary while driving across it, it was an almost bright brown. And not the kind of light, muddy brown you find in the Padas River either, but a murky, sludgy, brown with stuff floating on it.

Oh shit! Yes, exactly.Slightly less black-green than usual with non-delightful bits floating on it. Yuck.This is where the the floaty bits are ontop of the brown water. It smells worse than it looks.

If raw sewerage was your first thought, then snap, because it was mine too.  And this stuff eventually flows into the ocean near the city and 5-star resorts, so it immediately concerned me.

As I approached my turn-off, I saw the part of the canal near my house was still black-green, but it had loads of bits floating on it, something I’ve never seen before. I realised somebody must have dumped something at a specific point. I got out for a closer look.

As I took these pics I nearly wretched. It smelled like raw sewage and, without going into too much detail, it looked it too. These bits had obviously floated to this part while the bright brown volume had diluted.

Muddy sludge. Or is the sludgy mud?The tributary where the water had the brightest colour making me think it points in the direction of the sourceThe usual rubbish together with the the floaty bits ontop of the strangely coloured water

This shit, whether it is shit or not, will eventually make it to the sea and, if enough of it was or is dumped, it could go as far as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and onto the beaches of the islands and Kota Kinabalu’s 5-star hotels.

At best, it will stink up several housing estates as it flows along wide open sections of the draining system for everyone to see and smell, past the Museum where tourist regularly walk and this shit will be damed up right next to the hospital. Then it will meander along some of KK’s busy office areas and behind a few hotels, certainly stinking up the air and view of the Beverly Hotel (which looks directly onto this ‘river’), past Kota Kinabalu’s UMNO building (will they notice?) and into the sea right next to Sutera Harbour Resort’s Golf Course, where their high paying guests can play the Shit Hole.

It will also likely wash up on the rocks of the  new waterfront development they’re constructing there, which will extend from the mouth of this open sewer. If this kind of thing continues, tourists will be repulsed off the Waterfront and away from KK and Sabah.

So, who monitors this kind of thing and how are they held accountable? Is KK’s waterways just a dumping ground? We see a lot of rubbish being dumped in here. Has it now just gone a step further to where KK dumps it raw sewage for the sea to take care of?

When will the authorities realise that KK’s rubbish pollution, and if this is raw sewerage, will not only make Kota Kinabalu’s residents sick, but their tourism industry too?

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