Villagers in Bachok facing health problems due to peat fires

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 16 Apr 2023

BACHOK: Peat fires in and around Kampung Beris Lalang and Kampung Beoh here for the past three weeks have caused numerous health concerns among the local community.

Villagers in Kampung Beris Lalang and Kampung Beoh are afraid of opening windows in their houses for fear of debris or dust coming into their houses.

Rashidah Ab Razak, 53, a villager from Kampung Beoh said some of her relatives, including senior citizens and children, have been experiencing respiratory problems since the fire started.

"Such a situation is not new to villagers here. Just that due to the current hot spell, the situation has worsened and villagers are being cautious to open their windows. It is basically a safety precaution.

"Children and senior citizens can be easily affected by the prevailing condition. Some have been having flu and cold for weeks now," she told Bernama when met here today (April 16).

Faizal Zainudin, 22, said villagers were willing to use alternative roads instead of the normal roads for their daily routines although the distance covered is much further.

"Villagers who use motorcycles have no choice but to avoid the normal routes due to the extensive smell of smoke and hazy conditions. Eye irritation is also common," said the trader.

Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department (Operations Division) assistant director Mohd Wildan Azhari said the department was always monitoring peat fires in the state when the monsoon season changes.

"We always focus on a list of high risk peat fire locations. Just that due to the current hot spell and the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri, we have to be cautious and alert at all times as well as increase preparations to face such situations,” he said.

Mohd Wildan said there have been 65 forest fires, peat fires and bush fires recorded in Bachok since March 3.

He urged villagers and those living near high risk locations to be extra careful and avoid open burning during this period. - Bernama

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