The owner’s failure to maintain the pond has led to environmental pollution and risks to public health. Pic by Ramdzan Masiam.
SPILLING THE DIRT: A neglected sewage pond on a pig farm is overflowing into the estuary and the sea
GEORGE TOWN: THE owner of a sewage pond in a pig farm in Pantai Acheh is in hot soup for failing to maintain the pond, whose waste water is spilling into the nearby mangrove forest.
The sewage pond has been operational for over 10 years. Lacking proper maintenance, it is now spilling into the mangrove forest near the National Park, said Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu at a press conference.
“The damage extends beyond the mangrove forest as the sewage that flows into the estuary would eventually reach and pollute the sea.
“The pollution has been confirmed by local authorities such as the Department of Environment (DOE) and the Southwest District Drainage and Irrigation Department,” he said.
Teh, who is also a Penang National Park committee member, said checks showed a silt build-up, which would cause the site to be flooded during heavy rains.
“Action should be taken against the owner for causing environmental pollution and jeopardising the health of the public.
“The site is close to one of the state’s primary tourist attraction,” said Teh, adding that the farm should be relocated to places such as Kampung Valdor and Kampung Selamat in south Seberang Perai.
He said he had also received an e-mail from the Southwest District Land and District Office informing him that a temporary occupation licence (TOL) has been issued for a portion of the pond that was built on state land.
Teh went on to say that the matter was raised at the recent state legislative assembly sitting, where State Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Flood Mitigation committee chairman Law Choo Kiang had stated the farmers were only using a portion of state land, and had not encroached on the National Park.
Teh suggested that the state take back and turn the land into a campsite and a spot for tourism activities.