For those who don't know, let me tell you that Kerteh has it's own Turtle Sanctuary - located at Kg. Labohan - and the name is Ma' Derah Turtle Sanctuary. The sanctuary is now co-managed by 3 parties namely The Main Sponsor- BP, The Good Fellow - WWF and The Bad Guy- Fisheries department. This site saw hundreds of turle landing each year mainly from Agar Species (Green Turtle).
Initially, there was only 1 building erected to the North of Ma' Daerah's Beach for the conservation effort, then DOW Chemicals sponsored 2 longhouse to be used as a hostel for volunteers to spend their time doing conservation activities at the same location. At that time, the buildings were powered by BP/ Nokia sponsored solar panel system. Then more and more building (more like a hut) being build and the newest (if I'm not mistaken) another long house was build at the same area. Starting 2007, all the buildings are powered by the electricity grid.
Usually this time around (end March - early April), the sanctuary will organize it's yearly Beach Cleanup GoRo. For me this is one of the most awaited entry in my yearly calender. This GoRo marks the opening of the year's nesting season. Villagers and organisations around Kerteh will be invited to join this Beach Cleanup program. The common participants are from Petronas UPUs at KIPC, BP staff (even from KL office), OPTIMAL, Residence Hotel, Awana Kijal Hotel, Kemaman Municipal, Local Schools, Student from Kusza, KUSTEM, etc and even the Khidmat Negara students.
The GORO will start early in the morning so that the participant will not be burn under the hot morning sun (remeber that this part of peninsular Malaysia, we experience sunrise at the beach - make me wonder why they do not organize the GoRo after Asar). The 1.7KM long beach will be devided into several section. During registration, the volunteer will be divided according to this section of the beach. The committee will provide all the neccessary tools and PPEs (yes, PPE - gloves, hand towels, and a cap) and some refreshment for all volunteers. I usually choose the furtest section so that I can take a ride behind a lorry - :)
By noon when everybody are tired,sweat all over the body under the hot sun, the activity will end. By this time most of us would regret coming to this GoRO, but history proved that most will return to the next year GoRo.
This year I can't joint the GoRo... Informed that there is no news yet about the GoRo? What had happens?? Come-on guys, the turtles are due to lay their eggs... we need to act fast!
Here are some pictures taken during last GoRo I joined.. and a picture of the sanctuary courtesy of google image.