KUANTAN: Conservationists are going back to basics to rehabilitate the polluted Tasik Chini.
The immediate task would be to remove the ekor kucing plants which have covered 65% of the lake and caused the fish and animal population to drop.
In order to get the money to do the job, the Sustainable Development Network or Susden recently launched the Save Tasik Chini Fund.
Susden president Bishan Singh said the one-year initiative to bring the lake back to its natural state was engineered to save the ecological heritage from dying.
The problems plaguing Lake Chini have been identified. What is more important is to ensure that the community is aware and help in efforts to rehabilitate the lake, he said in an interview here yesterday.
Bishan said the main task to be carried out now was to remove the ekor kucing plants.
The task of removing the plants will cost about RM100,000.
The money will be channelled to the orang asli and the boatmen in that area, as the work of removing the plants would be farmed out to the people there, he said.
Bishan said besides the massive removal of the ekor kucing, work to remove the plants at frequent intervals would ensure that the lake was cleared of the plants.
He said it was important that the conservation of the lake be carried out with the co-operation of the orang asli, because if they can earn money and keep the lake clean, it could contribute to their well-being.
As for plans by the state government and experts to resolve the pollution in the lake, Bishan said the state had been responsive to recommendations.
Asked if the recommendations to flush out the lakes water would reduce the pollution, Bishan said it was not only difficult and expensive, but the chosen tributary might also not have adequate water to do the job effectively.
He hopes that Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia would be successful in setting up a monitoring station, where Susden volunteers could monitor the progress of the lake rehabilitation and educate the community there.