A sore sight among mangroves

SUNGAI PETANI: The irresponsible behaviour of some has led to about 15 illegal dump sites sprouting in the mangrove forest areas along Sungai Merbok here.

Kuala Muda district officer Datuk Abdul Gafar Yahya expressed his concern, saying such sites have not only polluted the environment but also potentially harmed the ecosystem and threatened marine life in the area.

“There are some 15 illegal dump sites along Sungai Merbok.

“Most of the waste comprises daily household refuse, including plastics. This issue has persisted for a long time – over 50 years,” he told reporters after inspecting the illegal dump sites along the river yesterday.Abdul Gafar explained that despite efforts to raise awareness among the local community to stop illegal dumping, the problem persisted.

He said there are dozens of mangrove species along the river that have the potential to attract tourists and thus, the community should realise that dumping garbage there will mar the scenery.

Abdul Gafar said while the affected areas are not under the maintenance jurisdiction of local authorities, his office will identify ways to address the issue.

He also said he plans to meet with local leaders and organise awareness programmes with the community soon.

“This behaviour needs to change. Improperly managed waste not only pollutes the environment but also leads to various other problems.

“The year 2025 is Visit Kedah Year. It would be a shame if this habit of illegal dumping is not curbed,” he said.

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