Do not let Juru River die from pollution

 CAP urges the concerned authorities to pay serious attention and take effective action to save the Juru River from dying due to pollution.  The Juru River in the District of Seberang Perai Tengah (SPT) has been threatened by pollution for the past 40 years but till now there is no sign that the pollution has been reduced and the riverine residents here are becoming concerned.

CAP’s survey here found that besides toxic waste from the Perai Industrial Zone and wastewater from neighbouring residential areas, the source of pollution is also waste black oil being discharged into a drain that is linked to the Juru River.

The spokesperson for Kampung Kuala Juru, Wahid Osman, 45, stated that 300 local fishermen who depend on fish catch and cockle culture in the river and estuary are concerned of the potential impacts to the environment following the implementation of a shrimp farming project in this area.

The aquaculture project covering an area of 99 acres, with about 50 ponds started operation six months ago. The community here is concerned that aquaculture project will worsen the pollution problem here if the effluents from the shrimp ponds are discharged into the river.

Wahid stated that if the effluents from the shrimp ponds are channeled to the River, it will not only threaten the livelihood of fishers in Kuala Juru and Tok Keramat but the River will also be heavily silted and become shallow.

The mangrove trees along the river may also die and indirectly destroy the breeding grounds for fish, prawns, crabs and other marine life including food supply for the cockle culture which is an important source of income for the fishers, he explained.

CAP urges the Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP), Department of Environment (DOE) and the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to conduct an investigation and take urgent action to tackle the problem.  The responsible authorities should also conduct more frequent monitoring and enforcement to curb pollution of the Juru River.

Press Statement, 9 October 2012