Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the DAP-led state government, Department of Environment (DOE), Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) and other relevant authorities to take immediate pro-active actions to curb industrial waste pollution in Kebun Kuyung, Penang.
SAM president S.M. Mohamed Idris alleged that the source of the pollution was from three factories that had been operating in Kebun Kuyung near Nibong Tebal in Seberang Perai Selatan district for past decade or so.
He warned that if the pollution problem was not curtailed, the environment in the area would be adversely affected.
A SAM study also found that besides the local community been exposed to the pollution, the situation would worsen and threaten agriculture activities such as paddy fields of the area was flooded.
“The pollution that has been persisting since 10 years ago is not only causing a stink and turning the drain water in this area black but also polluting the nearby Sungai Kerian,” said Idris in a statement.
The villagers, he said had lodged complaints about the potential environmental disaster to Sungai Kerian river to MPSP and Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), but Idris said until now no authoritative action had been taken to resolve the pollution problem.
If the authorities failed to act fast, he warned that aquatic lives in Sungai Kerian, especially fish and prawns, which were the main catch for small fishers in the neighbourhood, would be seriously affected and reduced, subsequently would threaten the fishers’ livelihood.
The SAM president urged the Penang government, MPSP, other relevant departments and agencies to urgently investigate the cause of the pollution and take stringent action against the factories that were polluting the drain and river.
“The drain must be cleaned up so that there is no lingering stench.
“SAM hopes that the responsible authorities will conduct frequent and continuous monitoring to ensure that the pollution problem does not recur.
“SAM is disappointed that the problem has yet to be resolved although the pollution problem is long standing and complaints have been lodged to the relevant authorities,” Idris said.