GEORGE TOWN, July 8 – The Penang Consumers Association (CAP) urges the Department of Environment (DOE), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Department of Agriculture and Kangar Municipal Council (MPK) to investigate the pollution of Sungai Bukit Jernih near Padang Besar Perlis at this time.
Problems caused by the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the paddy fields near the place are feared to affect the health of the public if left unchecked. Commenting on a local newspaper report (Utusan Malaysia: 5 July 2022) on the incident, CAP asked the authorities to conduct tests on the river water samples to identify the level of pollution.
CAP is worried because this problem has caused those who bathe in the river to experience itching. According to the President of the Bukit Jenih Recreation Association, Azmi Ariffin, the river was once clear and has now become murky and visitors to the Geological Heritage Site (Geopark) have declined by 80% over the past few months.
CAP is of the opinion that this problem if not addressed immediately can not only affect the health of the public but also the life in this river will also become extinct. Given that the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers among farmers is currently so widespread, CAP is serious about the incident because some of the materials are highly toxic.
CAP asked the Department of Agriculture to conduct a detailed investigation into the possibility that the substance was banned from use in the country but became the choice and practice of a handful of farmers in the area.