A GROUP of 40 villagers from Kampung Baru Naka Siam in Naka, Kuala Nerang in Kedah, staged a peaceful protest to call for the relocation of mounds of padi husks placed along the side of a dirt road leading to their village.
They said the husks, which they claimed were placed there by an eco-energy-generating firm, emitted a foul smell that affected the daily lives of the residents of the village which numbered more than 500.
Charun Ering, 37, who spoke on behalf of the group yesterday, said the bad smell started to shroud the village a month ago, especially when it rains and the padi husks become wet.
“We lose our appetite due to the bad smell,” he said, adding that the mounds were 100m from their homes and 10m from the perimeter fencing of a Siamese temple in the village.
Charun, who is a rubber tapper, said the villagers had lodged complaints with the Padang Terap District Council and Pedu assemblyman Kama Noriah Ibrahim but had not received replies from either parties so far.
Aichek Edait, 52, said the stench could also reach the nearby Kampung Berdikari, Pekan Naka, SK Naka dan Institut Kemahiran Belia Naka.
“I am worried that the mounds may increase and affect more people,” he added.
Chuah Lee Yong, 42, said the foul smell also affected sporting activities in the village as a futsal court is only 50m away from the mounds.
“When the padi husks get wet, they emit a bad smell like that from a dirty toilet. But when they dry up, the wind will blow them into our houses and compounds, causing skin problems for villagers,” Chuah claimed.
Council secretary Nasran Kamil said the council had received complaints about the matter from the villagers and was aware of the problem faced by them.
Kama Noriah said she would discuss the issue soon with the council in a meet- ing where she would get reports from the related departments.
Majunaka Eco Energy Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Syed Sobri Syed Hashim claimed that the area where the husks were placed was an industrial zone.
He also said the company had followed the requirements laid out in an Environment Impact Assessment in running its renewable energy business.