On March 7, 2019, many school children from SK Taman Pasir Putih in Johor Baru was admitted due to nauseousness, vomiting and collapsed due to inhaling of toxic fumes from Sungai Kim Kim. The Johor Health director Dr. Selahudden Abd Aziz had advised those living near Sungai Kim Kim to take preventive safety measures and avoid any activities near the river.
On March 13, 2019, the Education Ministry ordered all 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang to close with immediate effect as the area has been affected. All students, teachers, staff, and employees at all schools do not have to attend to their respective schools until the situation improves.
The Johor Department of Environment (DOE) will also charge two companies operating the factories that were responsible for illegally dumping the chemicals that are considered scheduled waste into the river in Pasir Gudang. The DoE investigation team have recorded evidence from three suspects who had also verbally admitted their involvement in the illegal dumping of chemical waste into Sungai Kim Kim.
Many questions remained – Can this be avoided if the complaints from the public are taken seriously and immediately? In the first place, do we have a proper and easier channel to complaint any illegal dumping or problems in our environmental? Can we detect any toxic gas around the public area which is surrounded by chemical factories?
IoT Solutions for Environmental Monitoring
There are several IoT solutions can be deployed to monitor the environment.
IoT Sensors – Monitor the Air Quality Index around the factories and nearby public spaces such as nearby schools, offices or residential areas. Water quality sensors that continuously monitor the toxic level of river water.
Favorsense for Environment
Sometimes the cost of deploying IoT sensors in many places can be very high due to lack of proper infrastructure and resources. Thus, a simpler approach is to use a hybrid ioT solution – using people as the “sensors” and crowdsource the information via a mobile application tool called “Favorsense”. This method of detecting issues using people is called “crowdsensing” as termed by Dr. Mazlan from FAVORIOT.
Favorsense comprised of several modules. A mobile app can be provided to the public or make it private for internal staffs. Once a report has been submitted, the Crowdsensing Management Platform (CMP) will automatically generate an incident report which can be assigned to the Field Force who will take immediate action depending on the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Once jobs have been completed, proof of the action or jobs that have been completed must be sent with a photo for the Authority’s approval. All of these activities can be measured in real-time using Insights dashboard especially meant for the management.
Favorsense for Environment benefits the Authorities in many ways such as making them more cost-effective, accountable, responsive, transparent and providing an official channel to complain rather than viral through social media.