Sand mining sparks safety concerns

Worrying sight: Villagers standing near the area where a soil erosion occurred in Kampung Masjid Lama in Jeniang, Kedah. — Bernama

GURUN: Some 200 residents of Kampung Masjid Lama in Jeniang, near here, have raised concern over the sand mining project in Sungai Muda, claiming that it is threatening their safety.

They claimed that the project, which started in early January, could also cause erosion at Jeniang Bridge, which is located about 900m away from the project site.

A resident, Abdul Majid Sudin, 55, said he was upset that sand mining was still continuing even though the mining area was near the riverbank and the bridge.

He said it also posed a risk as the Safwan Mosque and a cemetery were located about 1km from the Jeniang Bridge.

“The Tuan Guru Haji Sulong Mosque is only 320m from the sand quarry site,” he told reporters here, Bernama reported.

Abdul Majid claimed that the sand-mining activity also affected the river.

“The river water has become murky and it has also become deep, which is dangerous for children who are used to bathing there,” he said, adding that the sand mining is also affecting the ecosystem of the river.

Another resident, Ahmad Nazori Abdul, 42, said a soil erosion incident occurred behind his house recently and since then, he has been having sleepless nights.

He said he feared that it would happen again, especially with the ongoing sand mining activity nearby.

As for Mazli Zainol, 49, he said the dust caused by sand mining and the loud noise from the machines are affecting the villagers’ lives.

“With the dry season now, the dust is worse. I have to go to the hospital almost every week because of my breathing problems,” he said.

Meanwhile, an environmental organisation, Pertubuhan Alam Sekitar Sejahtera Malaysia, has brought the matter to the relevant authorities.

“This sand mining activity has to stop. Otherwise, the situation will worsen and the erosion will get closer to the Jeniang Bridge,” said its Kedah chairman Mohd Sobri Ramlee.

He said the frequency of the lorries going in and out of the quarry site and via the main road was also worrying.

He added that this is especially concerning for the safety of children on the road as school reopens soon.

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