Reef Check Malaysia plans to implement an effective waste management and recycling system on a Borneo island in Malaysia. Previously, there was no waste disposal system for the entire population of almost 1000 villagers on Mantanani Island. Since November 2018, we have trialed a waste management system in Siring Bukit Village (population of 110). The recent program survey shows that the community is happy with the improvement and we plan to expand the program to the other village on the island.
Due to its distance from the mainland and lack of infrastructure on the island, the islanders have no means of sanitary waste disposal. Faizal was born and raised in Mantanani Island. When we first met him, he was very helpful and showed interest in our waste management program. He gathered a few of his friends to help us conduct pre-assessments of the waste situation and help run the waste management trial. He's very committed and hardworking, and his work requires a lot of patience.
Faizal and his team has collected more than 3000kg of food waste, 100kg of plastic bottles, and 500kg of general trash. This program has triggered Faizal's leadership and sense of ownership towards his village cleanliness. Therefore, he has convinced and ensured the participation of the villagers in this waste management program. We plan to expand the same programme to the larger Padang Village (population of 864) where we will be able to collect more household waste and prevent marine debris.
"Mantanani is our treasure so we need to ensure its cleanliness and safety, not only for us (humans) but also for the environment" when asked about his vision for Mantanani for the next 10 years. "Sometimes, it really upsetting to see turtles dying in front of my eyes. So, I hope we can see changes where Mantanani will be more beautiful and sustainable." Lastly, he also hopes that the community on Mantanani will work together and be unified in protecting the island.