Agencies, local authorities need to step up monitoring of rivers

Part of the Sungai Kim Kim river in Pasir Gudang that is undergoing a clean-up today. Oil booms have been fitted to stop the oily substance from floating further down river. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department
Part of the Sungai Kim Kim river in Pasir Gudang that is undergoing a clean-up today. Oil booms have been fitted to stop the oily substance from floating further down river. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department

JOHOR BARU, March 16 — Relevant agencies and local authorities should intensify monitoring to check pollution of rivers in the state.

Malaysian Nature Society vice-president Vincent Chow in making the call said efforts to empower enforcement were needed as the current level of surveillance is weak and ineffective.

“The absence of enforcers to monitor pollution in Sungai Kim Kim and other rivers has emboldened polluters,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Meanwhile, Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) president Dr Jamali Wagiman today handed over 100 industrial grade respirators to the medical team working at the Medic Base to house chemical waste pollution victims in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang here.

He said IMAM was heeding the call by NIOSH protect the frontliners at ground zero as the staff were in direct contact with victims.

“IMAM’s Response and Relief Team, IMARET, also came with six doctors and five paramedics and other supporting teams to assist until the situation has improved,” he told Bernama after handing over the respirators to Johor Bahru health officer Dr Noasikin Mahdan at Medic Base in Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium here today.

In this regard, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) is ready to send agricultural produce if the vegetables and fish were tainted by toxic waste in Sungai Kim Kim.       

Fama director-general, Datuk Ahmad Ishak said the measure was to ensure the affected residents in the area receive an adequate supply of vegetables and meat.

“At the moment, it has not been confirmed if the agricultural supplies here were affected by toxic waste,” he told reporters after launching a Grading, Packaging and Labeling of Agriculture Products (GPL) at the Bukit Gantang Rest and Service Area near Taiping today. — Bernama

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