KLANG: A tube well will be built as part of the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry's efforts to combat the decade-long peat fire issue in Johan Setia here.
Minister Yeo Bee Yin (pic) told The Star they are expecting the tube well to be completed by the middle of this year.
“Every time there is open burning, the issue is that water cannot be accessed easily, and there is no underground water.
"We are building a tube well where we can get water from deeper in the ground,” she said.
In Sept 2018, Yeo had kicked off engagements with various government agencies including the Fire and Rescue Department, Klang Land Office, Department of Environment, Klang Municipal Council and state assemblymen to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) which would be used to tackle persistent peat fires in Johan Setia.
The SOP would include reducing the risk of open burning on peat soil and the effective coordination of all agencies involved.
When asked about progress on the SOP on Thursday (Jan 17), Yeo said the gears were still in motion to drum up prevention and mitigation actions.
“We are following up on Johan Setia and every time there is a report, we are taking quick action on the open burning,” Yeo said.
She said Klang is facing several environmental issues, including complaints of open burning at night.
“Klang is a rapidly urbanising area, it has a lot of developmental issues that we need to handle. We are looking into the discharge into the river as well,” she added.
She urged residents to involve their local representatives, especially when lodging complaints.
“We want to work with local elected representatives, hopefully, we can come up with something to lower the number of open burning cases in Klang.
“Federal ministers need elected representatives to coordinate with local agencies, we need to empower them and strengthen their machinery,” she added.
Yeo made the comment after a joint operation with the Department of Environment and the Klang Municipal Council to shut down illegal plastic factories in Telok Gadong, Klang.
Earlier, she announced that the Department of Environment aims to shut down 100 illegal plastic recycling factories by the end of March this year.
The Ministry has detected 97 illegal factories nationwide – 61 in Selangor, Kedah (10), Negri Sembilan (10), Perak (7), Johor (6), Penang (2), and one in Kelantan.