The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the Land and Mines Office, Drainage and Irrigation Department and local authorities to investigate a sand mining activity in Kampung Jawa, Pinang Tunggal, in the district of Kuala Muda, Kedah as the operation has led to problems and the villagers concerned about the adverse effects.
The sand mining activity in Sungai Mati at the village had started operation two months ago has caused soil sedimentation, cracks in houses, noise pollution and damaged the road, said its president S M Mohamed Idris via a press statement.
In a survey conducted by CAP, they found that suctioning of sand is merely 250 metres from villagers’ houses and next to a flood barrier that was constructed in this area.
“CAP is surprised as to how the authorities can approve the operations here although it has potential to cause negative impacts to the environment and threaten the safety and lives of the people.
“Although the villagers had raised this issue but no action has been taken by the authorities thus far.
“If the situation is left unsettled, the villagers will be seriously affected. Soil sedimentation will spread widely, affecting the agriculture and residential areas here.
“We are concerned that the activity will also threaten the nearby flood barrier structure, causing it to burst and a worse disaster will hit the villagers when the river overflows rapidly into the village and agriculture areas here,” said Idris.
We urge the Kedah state government to take immediate action to stop the sand mining activity after all relevant departments and agencies have conducted a comprehensive investigation.
CAP also requests the relevant authority to publicly disclose its findings and action that will be taken.
House owners who had cracks on the walls of their houses arising from the sand mining activity should be given adequate compensation, Idris raised the point.