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Couple embarks on 500km walking expedition to raise environmental awareness

Couple embarks on 500km walking expedition to raise environmental awareness

KUALA LUMPUR: There are many things, big and small, that one can do to help the environment. That is exactly what Hafizah Bachik, 45, and her husband, Roman Onillon, 40, have in mind when they embarked on a 500-kilometre (km) walking expedition while collecting garbage from Rasa, Selangor, yesterday, as the starting point.

The couple will traverse all the way to Perlis on foot and are scheduled to reach the Kuala Perlis jetty in 22 days, before continuing to Langkawi Island in Kedah.

Fully aware that some may view their expedition as ‘crazy’, walking long distances in hot weather, but it did not dampen the couple’s spirits to do something out of the ordinary to convey the message of awareness of the importance of caring for the environment.

Hafizah said the idea was mooted by her husband as they wanted to do something different and challenge themselves, after two years of being unable to travel abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We will walk between 20 and 25 km a day while collecting garbage such as plastic bottles and face masks thrown along the road. We hope this small effort will raise public awareness of the importance of caring for the environment and protecting the earth from global warming,” she said.

The Kuala Lumpur-born Hafizah said at first she was not very confident in her ability because she had never walked that far but after being persuaded by her husband by doing some trials and physical training, she thought she could handle the challenge.

“Before the fasting month of Ramadan we tried to walk for 14 km, from our residence at EkoCheras Mall to Perdana Botanical Garden, and at the same time, we collected garbage. It was my first experience and from there, I know I can do more than that,” said Hafizah who was doing other physical exercises to strengthen her stamina.

In terms of safety, the couple will begin walking along state roads every day at 8 am, which will take about five to six hours before stopping at each stopover to spend the night.

They also only carry equipment such as GoPro action cameras, trash pickup sticks, and garbage plastic bags while other necessities will be carried by the sponsors’ vehicle which will be at each accommodation.

Meanwhile, Onillon, from France, who has been in Malaysia for four years, said they had previously collected rubbish when traveling to Cameron Highlands and Morib but not on foot.

“We want to convey a message about environmental awareness. The easiest thing to do is stop throwing plastic bottles over the car windows, do not throw away cigarette butts or simply litter beautiful places, as we only pollute this earth by doing such things,” said Onillon who has traveled to 40 countries.

Those who want to give support and follow the daily progress of this couple’s journey can visit the couple’s social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Discover Evolution or Tiktok, Fizah and Roman. – BERNAMA