Sungai Ngulang used to be a place for villagers to bathe, collect snails to be cooked as side dishes and also as a source of drinking water.
“I miss those times (in the 1980s) because the river is now ‘long dead’ after several cases of water pollution there,” said Zuber Bidin from Kampung Perawah, near Sungai Ngulang.
The father of eight said he regretted what happened to the river, which the younger generation should have inherited in good condition.
Today is International Day of Action for Rivers, a day dedicated to solidarity — when diverse communities around the world come together with one voice to say that rivers matter.
“I feel sorry about what happened. I made a complaint to the Perlis Department of Environment (DOE), yesterday and, Alhamdulillah, in less than 24 hours, it immediately took action to investigate the cause of the pollution this morning,” said the self-employed Zuber.
Yesterday, Zuber’s complaint about pollution (water turning black) in Sungai Ngulang went viral on social media.
A Bernama survey revealed that in an aerial view, the river looked murky and black.
Meanwhile, State Health and Environment executive council member Teh Chai Ann said the cause of the pollution has yet to be identified and the Perlis DOE had taken water samples for further investigation.
“If the results of the investigation reveal that there are irresponsible parties who commit pollution, we will not hesitate to take legal action against them.
“We take public complaints seriously and will not let the perpetrators get away with it if there is evidence,” he said.
Perlis DOE director Azman Shah Ismail said he did not rule out the possibility that the pollution occurred either due to the disposal of industrial waste or from the paddy fields around Sungai Ngulang.
He said the matter was still under investigation and his team would need to get the results of laboratory tests first.
“Apart from taking water samples, the DOE today conducted air monitoring through drones to detect the source of pollution,” he added.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency