THURSDAY, 18 APRIL - The students and staffs of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science (FMHS) Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) joined hands to participate in the annual beach cleaning entitled “Jom Ke Pantai Kita Bah” at the Outdoor Development Centre (ODEC) UMS, yesterday.
The event was organized by Eco Campus and FMHS in conjunction with the celebration of 25th anniversary of UMS establishment.
Despite a brief drizzle during the event, the strong team managed to brave through the rain and ensure the cleanliness of ODEC, which stretched about 1.4km in length.
The programme was officiated by Dr. Yeap Boon Tat, Deputy Dean of Students’ Affairs and Alumni FMHS UMS.
In his officiation speech, Dr Yeap emphasized the importance of global awareness towards environment and the initiatives that each of individual can undertake to limit the usage of plastic in daily living.
“Everyday, we are consuming plastics, indirectly. We eat fishes and seafood that were exposed to plastics and heavy metal wastes – for example mercury.
“We should be tried to reduce the usage of plastics which are difficult to degenerate. That is why; the Eco campus FMHS UMS is now taking the first effort to ban the usage of plastic bags and straws in the faculty effective April 2019.
“This showed how serious FMHS is taking its stand towards environment awareness and safety,” Dr Yeap mentioned.
Associate Professor Dr Piakong Mohd Tuah, a senior lecturer at Faculty of Science and Natural Resources of UMS who also participated in the event, described in detail about the disastrous effects of plastics to the sea creatures and pollution.
“Plastics which were thrown into the sea were thought to be natural foods by the whales and dugongs.
“They consumed it and inadvertently caused death. Marine plastic pollution had impacted at least 270 species worldwide, comprising about 87% of sea turtle species and 44% of sea bird species.
“ This is a very saddening fact and there are some species of turtle that already extinct in the world,” Assoc. Prof Dr Piakong mentioned in his statement.
About 20 medical and nursing students together with lecturers and supporting staffs of FMHS were present in the memorable event.
They cleaned the stretch of beach and collected garbage weighing 90kg in total. They were carefully disposed by the Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK).