Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the  Sungai Petani Municipal Council (MPSPK), Department of Environment (DoE) and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to take urgent action to resolve the river pollution in Sungai Petani which is getting worse.

The river pollution that has been on-going for more than 10 years now has not only caused the river to be full of rubbish and waste but has also made the water become black and smelly.

SAM’s survey found all aquatic life in the river have perished and growth of the mangrove trees found along this river were stunted possibly due to the pollution.

SAM is disappointed that although the river pollution here has been going on for several years but until now no effective action has been taken by the responsible authorities. Now the pollution of the river has become very serious.

SAM believes that if the source of the pollution is not addressed immediately and the enforcement of relevant laws is not stringent the pollution will spread widely and affect public health and cause further damage to the environment in the future.

The important issues to be focused on by the relevant authorities is proper waste disposal system, efficient waste-water treatment system and curb discharge of waste oil, sullage and other pollutants from residential areas, business premises and vehicle repair workshops.

The relevant authorities must also conduct comprehensive monitoring and identify if there are industrial plants that release waste into drains and rivers here,  adding on to more pollution.

SAM is worried that if the river pollution in Sungai Petani is not controlled and dealt with effectively it will also pollute the Sungai Merbok basin and threaten mangrove forests found along the Merbok River.

SAM therefore hopes that the government of Kedah, Local Authorities (LAs) and the responsible departments and agencies give serious attention to this issue and take immediate action to address the pollution problem.

Media Statement, 18 April 2017