Pollution of River in Kampung Lalang Must Be Curbed

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Pahang government to pay serious attention and take immediate action to curb river pollution in Kampung Lalang, Benta near Kuala Lipis.

The source of pollution is a mining activity here which has caused the river water to turn muddy, filled with sand and its clear water turn brown.

The pollution has not only affected the daily use of the river water by 300 villagers here but also caused death of farmed fish, cultured in cages in the river.

SAM urges the State Land and Mines Office, Department of Environment (DOE) and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to take immediate action to address this problem.

SAM views that if the water quality of the river is left to deteriorate, it will not only threaten the surrounding environment but also bring about serious problems to public health especially among the villagers here.

Fish culture and farming activities will also suffer more losses if action is not taken to curb the problem.

In addition, flash floods may happen in the near future because the river is now shallower following sedimentation and discharge of sand from the mining area.

SAM is disappointed that although the mining activities have caused adverse impacts to the environment and the lives of the local villagers, the relevant authorities have yet to take stern and effective action to abate the pollution.

SAM hopes that the relevant State authorities, departments and agencies will take stringent action to enforce the law and ensure that similar problems do not recur.

SAM also urges the responsible party to pay compensation to villagers who were affected and suffered losses due to death of farmed fish and dwindling agriculture production following the mining activity here.

Press Release – 16 April 2014