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It seems to be a universal problem: many people use rivers and streams as open sewers, disposing of any and all manner of waste and refuse by just dumping it in the waterway. “Out of sight, out of mind” would appear to be their credo, but the result is often a toxic waterway and a devastated ecosystem. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the rivers it draws its name from exhibit the scars of this wasteful practice. Kuala Lumpur roughly means “muddy confluence”, but much more than mud now taints the waters of the Klang and Gombak rivers, whose joining gives the city its name.

It is good news, then, that cleanup efforts have now begun there. The community and the government are working together to address a multitude of problems that range from social issues to industrial practices. But it appears that attitudes are shifting and residents are coming around, or as one official put it, “We learned from other cities like Seoul, Vancouver, upgrading and beautifying the areas around the river really helps a city become more livable.” Al Jazeera has more: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/12/cleaning-up-malaysia-rivers-life-201412295711253154.html

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