All set to face hot and dry spell

(Left) If necessary, water will be released from the Kenyir Dam in Hulu Terengganu to increase water levels at its catchment areas. (Top) Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department wants the public to avoid open burning activities during this hot and dry season. — Filepic

KUALA TERENGGANU: The impact of climate change, such as extreme, severe drought, heavy rain and hotter temperatures, have been felt almost throughout the country.

In Terengganu, although such impact had yet to be fully felt statewide, efforts have been taken by various authorities to ensure the adverse situation would not affect the lives of its people, plants and animals.

The state’s main water supply provider, Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (Satu), is carrying out continuous monitoring on water sources in each district even though no incident of water supply shortage was reported so far.

Its CEO, Atemin Sulong, said if the situation turned critical, Satu would work closely with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to release water from the Kenyir Dam in Hulu Terengganu to increase the water level at its water catchment areas.

“Our main sources of water are the rivers in the state. We expect the dry spell to begin anytime now and last until July, with the most critical period in April.

“Should there be water disruptions, we are prepared to send our water tanker lorries to the affected areas, besides increasing the amount of water released from the Kenyir Dam,” he said.

He said another measure would be carrying out water rationing during non-peak hours, starting from midnight to 5am, as there would be less water consumption during that period.

He also advised consumers to use water prudently and avoid wasting it during the dry spell.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) fire station operation management division chief Mohd Mazimi Mohamad said cooperation from the public in avoiding open burning activities was very much needed during this hot and dry season.

He said it was feared that if the activities were done, the fire could not be controlled and would spread quickly.

“Periodical monitoring at forest fire prone areas are also being carried out by the relevant fire stations as part of our preventive measures.

“Among the areas are in Bidong Valley in Setiu, Kampung Tok Kah and Kampung Batu 7 in Dungun, Kampung Lubuk Kawah and Kampung Lubuk Cabang in Kerteh, Santong in Paka and Kampung Tembila in Besut,” he said.

To ensure that the firefighters would have sufficient water supply during fire operations, he said they would collaborate with the Drainage and Irrigation Department to expand water canal system and build tube wells in the fire prone areas.

Agropreneur Mohd Hafizuddin Mohd Zaky, 29, who operates a watermelon farm, said he was installing underground water pipes to prepare for the dry spell.

He said this was a lesson learnt after most of his crop were destroyed due to water shortage during the dry season last year.

“This time around, I’m prepared and using larger water pipes,” he said. — Bernama

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