MIRI: The inland fish population in riverine systems in Sarawak has dwindled considerably due to water pollution, said state Minister for Environment and Public Health Datuk William Mawan Ikom.
The pollution is caused by illegal dumping of wastes, industrial activities, careless exploitation of jungle resources and unsustainable land development projects.
The decreasing number of fish in our rivers now is one example of what environmental pollution can bring about.
This not only jeopardises the livelihood of local villagers but is also a loss to the economy, he told community leaders, heads of government departments and environmental protection agencies, and native NGOs during a dialogue.
Mawan said the ministry was also worried over last month's haze and wildfire scare in Miri.
The haze was caused by nearby forest fires and also open burning by irresponsible people.
The 1997 haze crisis that Sarawak faced had forced the government to declare an environmental state of emergency. It should have been enough to teach us a good lesson not to be careless with our environment, Mawan added.
Calling on village heads and longhouse chiefs to help monitor and curb pollution in their settlements, he said the state authorities and enforcement agencies did not have the manpower to conduct enforcement rounds in every part of the state.
Did you find this article insightful?