WATER DISRUPTION AGAIN DURING CHINESE NEW YEAR
Written by FOON WENG LIAN
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 09:15
EXACTLY a year ago, the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant was contaminated by ammonia that caused a major disruption to almost 20,000 households in Selangor. It was also dubbed as a prelude to one of the worst water crises in the history of Selangor.
The culprit of the pollution was found but no one knows what happened later. The incident ended with pledges and commitments from the Government that they would take stern action against polluters and would come out with a holistic plan to deal with the water crisis.
At the beginning of the year, we were told that there would be no water rationing this year as the water storage at all dams were satisfactory. However, we got a reality slap when another major water disruption is going to affect 458,350 households due to the closure of the Semenyih
Water Treatment Plant as a result of contamination in the Sungai Semenyih on Feb 15.
It is indeed frustrating when most of the
households, especially those that will be celebrating Chinese New Year, have to deal with the same situation like last year all over again – water disruption during Chinese New Year.
According to the Compendium of Environment Statistics Malaysia 2013, the major sources of river pollution include improper discharge from sewerage treatment plants, agro-based industries, livestock farming, land clearing activities and domestic sewage.
Has there been any system installed to detect the pollution miles away before it reaches the water treatment plants? Why are our water treatment plants not equipped with more advanced water treatment technology and system knowing that Sungai Semenyih is a “hotspot” prone to contamination?
We already have the regulations to deal with this kind of situation but where is the enforcement? When is the water supply going to resume? Do we have sufficient water tankers to distribute water to the affected areas? Is there any information on the schedule of water tankers being sent to the areas?
All these unanswered questions might lead us to wonder whether the government agencies might have not done anything to mitigate the situation from re-occurring.
Access to continuous and clean water supply is a basic human right for the realisation for all other human rights as gazetted by the United Nations back in 2010.
While we are still chanting our aspiration of becoming a high-income and developed nation by 2020, the dire water situation here has made us the laughing stock of the world.
FOON WENG LIAN
Water and Energy Consumer Association of Malaysia
Source: The Star