BATU GAJAH: A village of 300 residents near here is buzzing – not with excitement, but with swarms of flies, throwing off their festive plans for Deepavali.
Villagers of Kampung Baru Kinta Valley claimed that they had not been able to celebrate Deepavali in peace since a poultry farm was set up nearby about 10 years ago.
They also claimed that flies started swarming whenever chickens were being transported out of the farm – located some 500m away – every two months.
Petroleum engineer R. Sarawanan, 26, said since the farm came about, the residents had to endure thousands of flies “gate-crashing” their gatherings.
Sarawanan, who works in Terengganu, said he could not enjoy his break at home because most of the time, he would be swatting the flies.
“The flies are my ‘alarm clock’ because at about 5am, I wake up when they start swarming around me.
“My mother can’t bake Deepavali cookies because we don’t want the delicacies to be ‘coated’ with flies,” he said, admitting that the swarms could also be due to an illegal dumpsite in the area.
C. Kalayni, 62, who has been staying at the village for over 30 years, said each time the flies came around, she could not cook at home.
“I am wondering how to prepare Deepavali cookies,” she said.
Leong Mock Hwa, 69, said he was having sleepless nights due to the flies.
“I use glue paper to trap the flies but it is not solving the problem,” he said.
In an immediate response, Tualang Sekah assemblyman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi got the dumpsite cleaned up.
She also said two dumpsters would be put in the area by next week, adding that she would bear the costs as the place was outside the council’s operation.
Nolee said there were two poultry farms in the area. The owner of one of them had been directed to follow guidelines three weeks ago.
“However, the other farm was only brought to my attention yesterday,” she said.