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Pollution in Tawau

Environment in Tawau
Air pollution from industrial and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires; discarded PVC (plastic).

Tawau residences are suffering from rodents. The increased number of rats in the town is posing a health risk. Almost all kitchen garbage are not kept in rodent-free containers to avoid attracting the pests. Rats are taking over Tawau streets because of poor rubbish and trash management.

With the development of plastic, it is being used in a wide variety of ways. The common daily items are often made of plastic; or we use plastic to wrap around many things. This is not the problem; the main problem arises when we do not want to use that plastic. Disposing them is a very difficult task. The throwaway plastics are cheap and hence mostly preferred by people all over the world. This leads to a huge pollution problem as these plastic bags do not decompose for a long period of time and even need ultra-violet lights to breakdown. Plastics disposed off in the sea are polluting the sea as well as threatening the marine lives. Studies conducted show that there are about 3500 particles of plastic per square kilometer of sea in the southern African coast. The plastic pollution has increased by more than 190% in different beaches of South Africa.

The problem can not be solved overnight, but definitely can be reduced. For that it needs serious and urgent attention. The basic thing we need to do is to reduce our usage of plastic bags and other plastic materials in our day to day lives. The use of recyclable plastic bags should be encouraged, if possible it should be made compulsory by the Government. Whenever we go for shopping, we must carry our own bags and also encourage and convince others not to use plastic bags so frequently. Do not throw away plastic materials and plastic bags on roads and seas. This simple behavior of yours will encourage other to follow you and keep the mother nature clean and green.

Serious plastic / garbage population at Batu Payung Beach, Tawau
Seaside Pollution
Serious plastic / garbage population at Batu Payung Beach, Tawau

Photo above : Tawau beach where children play on sand contaminated and polluted with PVC rubbish.

Agent of pollution :
Village Dwellers

Primary environmental impact :
Disturbance of the environment - discarded PVC (plastic)

Secondary impact on ecosystem :
Breeding site for diseases and pests

Degree of seriousness :
Poor public moral of local folks

Action taken by town board :

Serious plastic pollution at Tawau Waterfront, Sabah
Plastic Pollution
Serious plastic pollution at Tawau Waterfront, Sabah

Photo above : Tawau Waterfront polluted with PVC rubbish.

Agent of pollution :
Human dumpling of rubbish from land

Primary environmental impact :
Disturbance of the environment - discarded PVC (plastic)

Secondary impact on ecosystem :
Cause of Low standard of Malaysian culture

Degree of seriousness :
Poor public moral of local folks of low education

Action taken by town board :
Not consistence

Nine Forms of pollution in Tawau

The major forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular contaminant relevant to each of them:

1 Air pollution
The release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. Common gaseous pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles. Photochemical ozone and smog are created as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons react to sunlight. Particulate matter, or fine dust is characterized by their micrometer size PM10 to PM2.5.
2 Light pollution
Includes light trespass, over-illumination and astronomical interference.
3 Littering
The criminal throwing of inappropriate man-made objects, unremoved, onto public and private properties.
4 Noise pollution
Which encompasses roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial noise as well as high-intensity sonar.
5 Soil contamination
Occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground leakage. Among the most significant soil contaminants are hydrocarbons, heavy metals, MTBE,[10] herbicides, pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
6 Radioactive contamination
Resulting from 20th century activities in atomic physics, such as nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons research, manufacture and deployment. (See alpha emitters and actinides in the environment.)
7 Thermal pollution
A a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human influence, such as use of water as coolant in a power plant.
8 Visual pollution
Which can refer to the presence of overhead power lines, motorway billboards, scarred landforms (as from strip mining), open storage of trash, municipal solid waste or space debris.
9 Water pollution
By the discharge of wastewater from commercial and industrial waste (intentionally or through spills) into surface waters; discharges of untreated domestic sewage, and chemical contaminants, such as chlorine, from treated sewage; release of waste and contaminants into surface runoff flowing to surface waters (including urban runoff and agricultural runoff, which may contain chemical fertilizers and pesticides); waste disposal and leaching into groundwater; eutrophication and littering.

Spiritual Pollution
Today's societies in the world are rather abnormal, a phenomenon that has not been witnessed before either in the West or the East. Some Westerners have predicted that the end of the world will occur in 1999 and that Christ will return to earth for Judgment Day. Easterners have also predicted impending disasters that are similar to those predictions in the West, the only difference being the time frame which is some twenty years later. Some of these are ancient prophecies, which we should not place too much importance on. However, if we view our environment objectively, we will realize that this world is really in danger.
Environmental pollution has become a serious problem and now mankind has finally begun to understand the need for protecting our environment. However, the problem of mental or spiritual pollution is many times more serious than that of the environment. This is the source of worldly ills which not many people realize.

Deforestation in Kalabakan, Sabah
Deforestation in Kalabakan, Sabah (80 Km from Tawau Town)

Contamination of drinking water
The maintenance of water storage tanks is very important. It is important to monitor the management office of housing estates to make sure regularly cleaning of the water storage tanks. And that the water supply system is maintained in good condition.

2006 in Taman Semarak, after many months of water leakage, the management finally replaced a new water tank. This old tank (photo left) being un-reusable , was cut down in smaller pieces of scrape iron for easy transport.
Upon cutting open this big water storage tank, the scene of the inside of the tank was a trill to see - seriously rusted with thick mud condensation.


No individual in Taman Semarak, nor heath personal from a department to monitor or supervisor this water storage tanks ever since. Residents in the flats seem have no doubt about the cleanliness of the water supply system in their building.
This is what they drink for many years (photo left) - water from a rusted and muddy tank - as a result of poor conscious in clean water supply.


Now a day water storage tanks are build of PVC material. But before the 1980's water storage tank were build of mater and joint by bolt and nuts.
These type of water tanks (photo above) still remain in use in several old housing area in Tawau. One of such metal tank that can easily seen (used by local as landmark) is the one standing tall across the road behind Holy Trinity Church.

Rubbish pollution is a growing problem and cause environmental degradation. While education standard in Sabah is improving, standard of living environment in some districts are degrading.
In certain towns, solid waste collection is inadequate and supervised by inefficient officers. Litter is a major concern in most towns. Even international tourist destination areas such as the seas within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Sabah are frequently filled with floating garbage from the city nearby.
The solid wastes in poorer districts are typically ends up in urban drains or rivers.

Environmental Hotspots Survey for the district of Tawau : http://www.iczm.sabah.gov.my

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