The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is very concerned over sand mining activities in Kedah that has brought about environmental problems and affected the lives of the people here. CAP is disappointed that the issue which has been pending for more than five years until now, has not been tackled effectively by the state authorities.
CAP’s survey found that in addition to degrading the environment, the sand mining operations had affected the lives of nearly 5,000 residents of eight districts in Kedah. The affected districts are Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Pulau Langkawi, Sik, Baling, Kulim, Kuala Muda and Yan.
Among the adverse effects of sand mining in the state is pollution of the river and sea, erosion, sedimentation, landslide, pollution of public water supply, and slope failures involving agriculture land and houses, in addition to threatening public safety, especially children.
Hence, CAP urges the Kedah State Government to take immediate action to stop all operating sand quarries and revoke sand mining permits to review the adverse effects of these activities.
CAP supports the directive given by the Kedah State Education, Transport and Public Works Committee Chairman Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain recently after the State Executive Council decided to stop the sand mining operation in Kampung Batu Belacan, Bukit Selambau, near Sungai Petani as it affected the villagers here. We hope that the state will issue a stop work order to other sand mining companies in the state.
CAP believes and is worried that if sand mining is allowed, it will cause pollution and severely affect communities.
CAP also urges all District and Land Offices and local authorities to cooperate with the State government to implement the directive and strictly enforce regulations so that problems can be dealt with effectively.
CAP calls upon other State governments to emulate the decision made by the Kedah state government to stop sand mining operations that have caused environmental problems and threaten lives of the local community. CAP proposes that people who have suffered losses due to damage to their property following sand mining activities are compensated by the responsible parties.
Press Statement, 1 April 2014