Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has called on the Department of Environment (DOE) of Perak and Manjung Municipal Council to investigate complaints from residents at Kampung Batu 19 in Ayer Tawar, Perak due to prolonged exposure to air pollution from a factory and infestation of flies.
“The cause of these problems is from a poultry farm and a glove factory which have been operating here for the past 15 years,” its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said, expressing concern on the health of some 1,000 residents living in the area.
The residents have informed SAM that the glove factory operated 24 hours and that the factory released thick smoke at night.
“When this happens, the residents have breathing difficulties.
“The residents were worried that the thick smoke engulfing the area might be poisonous and harmful to health,” said Idris in a statement today.
The affected residents have made several complaints to relevant authorities but to no avail.
In view of these environmental problems, Idris urged the DOE of Perak and the council to investigate the complaint immediately.
He demanded for stern action to be taken under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 if the factory was found to have breached the regulations.
SAM survey established that the villagers, residents of Taman Iswara and Ladang Bilham, were also plagued by the fly problem and air pollution from the glove factory.
“The flies not only infest the houses but also the food outlets and vegetable stalls in this area,” said Idris.
SAM was also informed that there were occasions where fishes have been found dead in the drains near the factory, believed to have been caused by effluents discharged from the factory.
SAM also called on the departments of irrigation and drainage, health and veterinary services to conduct surveillance in the area to ensure that the situation was under control and the area was free from environmental pollution.