IPOH, April 26 ― The Perak state government is appealing to the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry to reopen the Ayer Ganda water treatment plant in Gerik.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he had met minister Dr Xavier Jeyakumar in Parliament recently to discuss the issue but was rejected.
“I wrote a long letter to the minister but his reply was that the treatment plant could not be reopened unless it receives the green light from the Health Ministry that water there is safe to be used.”
“However, deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye has said the water is safe to be used for shower and washing,” he said.
Speaking to reporters here today after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Yayasan Sultan Azlan Shah (YSAS) and Pasukan Tindakan dan Bantuan Persatuan Perubatan Islam Malaysia (IMARET) to provide treated water to six Orang Asli villages in the Batang Padang district, Ahmad Faizal said he is pulling out all the stops to help the people of Kampung Air Ganda.
“I hope the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) will give some leeway and allow the villagers to use the water,” he said, adding that with Ramadan around the corner, life would be difficult if they had to rely on water from Perak Water Board (LAP) tanks.
The board currently supplies eight tanks of water for use by villagers.
Ahmad Faizal added SPAN might have other information which he was not aware of but the statement by Dr Lee was enough to retract the order.
On April 4, state Education, Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Abdul Aziz Bari said arsenic had been discovered in water from Sungai Rui in Hulu Perak.
Five days later, SPAN ordered the state government to shut down the water treatment plant as a precautionary measure, despite the water treatment plant showing traces of arsenic below the standard set by the World Health Organisation.
LAP later announced they would build 11.5 kilometres of pipes and booster pumps to channel treated water from the Lawin water treatment plant to Kampung Air Ganda following the closure of the water treatment plant.