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Toilet Cleanliness Campaign 2011 in Matunggong

EAC: SCENIC TOURISM ROUTES MUST HAVE FREQUENT TOILET STOPS

24th July 2011

Matunggong, Sabah - The Environmental Action Centre's (EAC) Toilet Cleanliness Campaign 2011 made its way to Matunggong on Saturday with 30 youths participating in the seminar, toilet quiz and cleaning demo exercise at the Dewan Astaka Matunggong and was officiated by the Assemblyman for N.4 Matunggong, Sarapin Magana.

Nilakrisna James, who is a member of the EAC Management Group and leader of this year's toilet campaign, made a call to the government to identify frequent toilet stops at scenic spots on the route from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat and allow landowners to see the value of having joint venture developments to allow tourists and visitors the chance to enjoy the long journey on the West Coast.

"The drive from the capital city to Kudat has exceptional views of distant forests, padi fields and Mount Kinabalu in some parts especially after Rampayan Laut to Ulu Kukut. I had to however hold the call of nature from Kota Belud to Ulu Kukut as that entire stretch has no frequent public toilet stops. Public toilets along scenic routes should be along the highway with handicraft stalls and boutique cafeterias offering tourists traditional cuisine and exceptional photographic opportunities. We should not arbitrarily build toilets for the sake of it. The one in Ulu Kukut is quite new but already shows signs of wear and tear and poor maintenance with wet floors and broken locks. Future toilets should also be built and designed to blend into the natural landscape with more open spaces to allow for natural ventilation to keep floors dry and get rid of bad smells," Nilakrisna said.

She added that, as with most districts, the real problem is either lack of water or infrequent water supply. "We simply cannot use a toilet that has no water. You can't flush it and you can't clean it. We don't need to point fingers to start heeding the complaints of tourists and the public. Ultimately we just need to identify every public toilet in this State and ask ourselves who's responsible for those toilets and who has the contracts to clean and maintain them regularly. There is no question of pushing the buck on this. Someone needs to do something about the water situation and the cleaning situation. This is a business opportunity that should be tendered to the most effective and hardworking contractor and we should cancel the contract of a non-performing contractor. The 'couldn't-care-less' attitude is creating a bad impression of the way we are as a nation and it is embarrassing. I will be presenting my report to the government on this."

EAC, which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, previously visited Bingkor and Nabawan. The Matunggong visit was jointly organised by Helen Erut of EAC and Rosnie Manain, the President of Persatuan Bayunita Sabah. Also at the seminar was the Assistant District Officer for Matunggong, Bianus Kontong.

A view before toilet being clean
A youth on cleaning demo at a male toilet; for clean and dry floor
A view after toilet being clean
YB Encik Sarapin Magana, Assemblyman of N.4 Matunggong visited the toilet demo
Ms. Nilakrisna presenting a memento to the Guest of Honour, YB Encik Sarapin Magana, Assemblyman N.4 Matunggong
Group photo after the toilet cleanliness campaign ended