A Scout in Malaysia volunteers for his school’s River Restoration project
Thousands of students volunteered to make about 178,900 enzymatic mudballs to aid the river restoration project of a big university in Malaysia. The enzymatic balls, made by hands, will be thrown directly into the now polluted Damansara river located just at the back of the school. The river runs from Sungai Buloh until Shah Alam.
Sam-Luc Bilodeau, a Scout from Malaysia and a medical scientist, volunteered for his school’s River Restoration project.
The enzymatic mudballs, made out of fruit peels and mud will help the river by decomposing the sludge. The decomposition of the sludge will produce nutrition that will in turn feed the oxygen-increasing phytoplankton. The resulting rise of oxygen in the river will activate the oxidative bacteria, further acceleration the sludge decomposition.
All these things made Sam-Luc excited. To him, he was not only making himself productive by volunteering for the project, but he was already contributing to protect and preserve the environment, an ode that he has made as a Scout.
“As a Scout, I made it my personal mission to care for the environment, to protect it whenever necessary. Scouting taught me the value of the environment in our daily lives – humanity’s entire life support system depends on the well-being of all the environmental factors,” he explained.
“We were making about 25,000 mudballs a day, and we were targeting for 150,000 mudballs. What made it so exciting was the sheer number of the volunteers. Every day, our numbers continued to increase, and every day, we met new people. And we all had one thing in mind – to make some mudballs, and hopefully help in the restoration of the Damansara river,” Sam-Luc added further.
On the fourth day of the project, and a day before throwing all the mudballs into the river, officials from the Malaysia Book of Records came in to inspect the quantity of the mudballs as the organisers also sought to make a record for the largest mudball throwing event. From the targeted 150,000 mudballs, Sam-Luc and the rest of the volunteers managed to make 178,900 mudballs, beating their target by over 28,900 more.
Finally, the big day came, and Sam-Luc and the rest of the volunteers threw all 178,900 enzymatic mudballs into the Damansara river. “For every throw I made, I felt like all the pain and tears finally paid off. Hopefully, with this initiative, and after all the research that were conducted by our team, we could slowly restore our river back to the way it was before.”
The project sought to contribute towards the realisation of Goal 13 (Climate Action), Goal 14 (Life Below Water and Goal 15 (Life on Land) of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
With reports from Sam-Luc Bilodeau and Sam Aliff Ajwad Bin Marzuki, Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia
Photo (c) Sam-Luc Bilodeau and Management and Science University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia