JOHOR BARU: Residents in Kampung Acheh, Pasir Gudang here are worried as the water in Sungai Kopok, which is an important source of livelihood for them, has turned black and is smelly.
The residents also claimed that the condition of Sungai Kopok, which is connected to Sungai Kim Kim and Sungai Daing and once home to shrimps and crabs, worsened following the chemical waste pollution of Sungai Kim Kim in March.
Village head Othman Adon said the 15km-long river was believed to be contaminated by waste discharged from nearby factories.
He said although authorities such as the Department of Environment (DOE), Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (MPPG) have been informed of the matter, nothing had been done so far.
“The river water turns black and smelly, especially after it rains.
“We want the authorities to resolve this problem.
“Fishermen especially are adversely affected as their source of income is affected. We used to enjoy a lively neighbourhood but not anymore, ” he said.
“In fact, the children used to swim in the river, especially around the jetty area.
“Now we do not allow them to do so as we fear it would affect their health, ” said Othman.
Fisherman Isamadi Abd Rahman, 45, said the water at upstream of Sungai Daing, about a kilometre stretch and connected to Sungai Kopok, appeared to be black, foamy and oily with black substances floating on the surface.
He said due to the pollution, he and other fishermen had to find odd jobs in the area to support their families.
“We are now forced to go to other places to fish or take up other jobs, ” said Isamadi
Johor DOE director Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar said he has not received any reports pertaining to the pollution in Sungai Kopok from any party. — Bernama
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