Livelihood of 300 small fishers in Kota Kuala Muda is threatened


The livelihood of about 300 small fishers in four villages in Kota Kuala Muda, Kedah has been threatened following pesticides contamination of the Dedap River here.

Some farmers have been indiscriminately dumping used pesticides containers and residue into the canals here, which subsequently polluted the water that is released into the Dedap River.  This has caused the death and decline of fish, prawns, crabs and shellfish that are the main catch of the fishers here.

The villages affected by this problem are Kampung Sungai Mas, Kampung Bukit Berangan, Kampung Bukit Kecil and Kampung Permatang Tengah.

A survey by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) found that there were many empty pesticides containers in the river. The farmers in this area had used the pesticides and dumped the containers.

The types of pesticides used by the farmers were highly toxic and some have been banned in Malaysia.  Some of the pesticides were manufactured in Thailand, Taiwan and China.

The affected fishermen informed CAP that their daily catch has dropped from 100kg to 6kg and their monthly income has decreased from RM2,000.00 to RM700.00.

CAP urges the Kedah Agriculture Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Department of Environment to investigate and take prompt action to resolve the pollution problem.

If the problem is left unresolved, the Dedap River which is the lifeline for the fishers here will be severely polluted and the diverse aquatic species in the river here will become extinct.

The authorities must take stringent action so that the problem does not persist and bring about worse environmental and public health problems.

Press Statement, 31 October 2012