TASEK GELUGOR, April 7 — “We have endured this issue for 40 years,” said a resident of Kampung Air Melintas Kecil here whose life has been affected by the swine manure dumped into the river from pig farms in Kampung Selamat nearby.
Yusof Othman, 65, said other villages along the river were also affected.
“It can be said this swine manure originates from Kampung Selamat where pig farms are located, which then leads into Sungai Kreh in this village right up to Kampung Air Hitam (Butterworth), about 12km from our village,” he told reporters when met at the dumping site here today.
Yusof had gathered there with about 20 villagers holding up banners urging the state government to take action against the parties involved.
He said the swine manure released into Sungai Kreh had polluted the drainage system in their village which emitted foul smells at night and after rain.
“What’s more saddening is in 2003 and 2011, when our village was flooded, the water had entered our homes, and we were forced to clean our whole house to get rid of all traces of the manure,” said Yusuf, who has lived at the village for more than 40 years.
He said villagers also suffered from other problems such as itching and shortness of breath due to the foul smell.
Another villager, Ahmad Sulaiman, 69, who is also Pokok Sena Area Farmers’ Organisation (PPK) chief said the problem had also affected rice cultivation in the area.
“Farmers are required to achieve a target of about 10 tonnes per hectare (under the Area Farmers’ Organisation plan), however of late, rice yields have plunged to 5 tonnes (per hectare) as they paddy was spoilt,” he said.
Meanwhile, Penang Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said the authorities had given pig farm operators until the end of the year to stop dumping swine manure into the river.
“We want to enforce and take action through the Pigs Farming Enactment 2016 and our focus is to get the operators to stop the dumping by the end of this year,” he said. — Bernama