Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has objected to a proposed development project in Kampung Tengku Laksamana and Kampung Sematang Tepi Laut, Kuala Kedah, Kedah due to its destruction of mangrove forest.
Its president S.M.Mohamed Idris in a statement today said the project would also affect the livelihood of some 200 traditional fishermen and threaten the environment.
It was reported that the Alor Setar City Council had approved land clearing and reclamation for a condominium development project in the coastline near Kampung Tengku Laksamana.
“In a survey conducted by SAM, we found that at least five hectares of mangroves fringing the two villages have been felled and land reclamation works had begun,” said Idris.
He said that to his surprise, there were no construction project identification signboard although villagers claimed that work had started last year.
SAM was informed that following the destruction of the mangroves here, fishermen’s catch had decreased to 50%.
“Fish, prawns, crabs, clams and cockles that were the main catches for fishermen had dwindled and are threatened with extinction.
“Besides the main source of income of local fishermen, we are also concerned that the impact of mangrove destruction will include coastal erosion and susceptible to damaging effects in the case of a tsunami,” he pointed out.
SAM is disappointed that the objections by the villagers were not given considerable attention and action had not been taken to resolve their predicaments.
“We urge the Kedah government and local authority to take immediate actions to stop the land reclamation and halt the mangrove felling here.
“If the development project is continued, we believe that the remaining 300 hectares of mangroves here and the lives of 130 families in these two villages will be seriously be threatened,” the SAM president said.