Pollution of Sungai Pahang, Tasik Chini and Tasik Mentiga

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Pahang government to stop logging and mining activities in the state to curb the worsening problem of pollution of the Pahang River, Tasik  Chini and Tasik Mentiga in the district of Pekan.

The problem that has persisted for more than 20 years does not only affect the water catchment and water supply for more than 10,000 Felda Chini settlers and communities in the surrounding areas but also the livelihood of the Orang Asli communities in the district whose source of income has been affected.

SAM’s field survey here found that the water in the river and the lake was muddy and silty,  endangering aquatic life, aquatic plants and weed to die. Subsequently some species of fish that is a source of income for local people here especially the Orang Asli community in five villages in the area are threatened and nearly extinct.

The livelihood of the communities is further threatened because their source of income from forest produce has also declined due to logging and mining activities in the surrounding forests.  Among the affected villages are Kampung Gumum, Kampung Melai, Kampung Tanjung Puput, Kampung Chenahan and Kampung Ulu Gumum.

Among other sources likely to be contributing to the problem is the construction of a weir that blocks the flow of water between Tasik Chini and the Pahang River, to the detriment of the ecosystem of the lake. Disposal of effluents from palm oil mills here has also caused death of a variety of plant species in Tasik Mentiga.

The sedimentation of residual sludge and dead plant is significant, causing the Sungai Pahang, Tasik Chini and Tasik Mentiga to become shallow. This condition will cause the river water to overflow during rain and both lakes fail to accommodate the flow of water or surface runoff from forests that have been cleared.

SAM is upset and concerned that the long standing problem which has been threatening the environment and the livelihood of the local communities here has yet to be resolved due to lack of effective action taken by the authorities. If this situation is left unchecked we fear that worse incidents such as flash floods and prolonged drought may hit the area and the state in the future.

SAM urges the Pahang government and relevant departments to take immediate action to address the threat of pollution and to make public the measures that will be taken to resolve the problem.

Media Statement, 20th April 2017