Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Kedah government to take immediate action to stop logging activities and forest destruction in order to overcome the problem of water shortage faced by the people in the state.
The government should focus on addressing the root cause of the water shortage problem including threats to water catchment areas from destructive activities and logging. There is no point in distributing barrels to consumers or replacing old pipes when taps may remain dry if the state’s water source and forests continue to be destroyed.
SAM is disappointed that the Kedah government has yet to give serious attention to the issue of logging and deforestation activities in the state, thus worsening the water supply problem faced by consumers.
SAM’s survey found that besides the problem of piped water supply faced in many districts in the state, the natural water resources from rivers and hills are also seriously polluted by logging activities and uncontrolled sand mining operations.
The water level in two major dams namely Pedu and Muda is affected because the Ulu Muda forest which is a watershed is threatened by logging and mining activities.
SAM estimates that the majority of water users who are facing water shortage problems consist of those who live in the rural areas while the rest are residents of housing estates and high-rise buildings in urban areas.
Districts that are adversely affected by water supply problems in the state are Padang Terap, Pendang, Kubang Pasu, Kulim, Baling, Sik, Pokok Sena and Kuala Muda. Also affected by the water shortage in the state are the farmers in the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) area and outside MADA.
In view of overcoming this problem, SAM hopes that the Kedah government will plan for the long term and take more effective action. Temporary measures will not solve the problem. The problem will be solved only if the corrective action addresses the root cause of the water shortage.
SAM is concerned and believes that if the cause of the water shortage problem can not be tackled by the Kedah government, in the next two or three years, the ‘rice bowl’ of Malaysia will lack water resources, resulting in adverse effects on the lives of all its citizens.