Social Welfare Dept to counsel pupils affected by Sg Kim Kim chemical waste pollution

The scene where about 100 school students, believed to have breathing difficulties after inhaling fumes, being temporarily placed for health monitoring at the Taman Pasir Putih multipurpose hall in Pasir Gudang. — Picture by Ben Tan
The scene where about 100 school students, believed to have breathing difficulties after inhaling fumes, being temporarily placed for health monitoring at the Taman Pasir Putih multipurpose hall in Pasir Gudang. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, March 17 — The state government, through the Social Welfare Department (JKM), will provide counselling services to students to help them recover from and get over the trauma of being affected by the chemical waste pollution in Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang.

Johor Women Development and Tourism committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said the counselling services would be provided when the schools re-opened, adding that JKM was also willing to work with the Education Ministry on the matter.

“Primary school pupils are more likely to have been traumatised by the incident and after getting mass treatment at the Medic Base or hospitals.

“I hope the counselling sessions will be able to help in their healing process and also overcome the trauma,” she told a press conference at the Medic Base at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (MPPG) Indoor Stadium here today.

Liow said so far JKM had 35 counsellors, comprising 15 psychology and counselling officers and 20 with the psychological support team.

“I was informed that JKM counselling teams from other states are also willing to help us if needed.

“Other than that, agencies under the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) and the Darul Takzim Family Development Foundation also have adequate counselling teams that can assist us,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said that the government, through the JKM, MPPG council members and volunteers also distributed face masks and food supplies to residents affected by the chemical pollution.

“We distributed more than 350 packets of rice and face masks in the housing estate and shoplots in Kampung Bukit Pulai, Taman Scientex and Taman Scientex 2 on March 15 and yesterday.

“Other than those who received medical treatment at the MPPG Indoor Stadium, I feel that residents in the area should not be neglected and it’s important for them to get the face masks as a precaution,” she added. — Bernama