The Kedah State Government, Kedah Forestry Department, Kulim District and Land Office should pay serious attention to sand mining operations in the Gunung Inas Permanent Reserved Forest located near Kampung Ulu Mahang, Kulim, Kedah.
Although the ongoing sand mining operations has been approved by the State Authority, this has to be reviewed because it involves a permanent reserved forest. Similarly logging activities in the permanent reserved forest is still widespread because this extractive activity has been approved too.
It is estimated that 3,000 residents from five villages i.e. Kampung Bukit Kabu, Kampung Bukit Kubur, Kampung Padang Kering, Kampung Charok and Kampung Ulu Mahang are affected by murky water problem flowing from the Mahang River due to the sand mining and logging operations. The river is an alternative source of water supply to the villagers.
These destructive activities in the forest reserve have not only affected the villagers alternative water supply but also paddy farmers here, affecting their rice crops.
SAM urges an immediate stop to further destruction of the forest by halting the sand mining and logging activities. Rehabilitation work must be carried out soon. SAM also objects to any new projects planned by any party in the area as it causes serious damage to the environment.
In this regard, SAM urges the relevant agencies to restrict logging and sand mining activities in the permanent reserved forest here for the well-being of the people and the environment.
S.M MOHAMED IDRIS