Villagers want waste dump relocated

New Straits Times - 02.07.2010

Er Teck Hwa (fourth from left) and Aik Hwa villagers at the Bakri landfill site which they claim is posing a danger to their health.

RESIDENTS of Aik Hwa village near the Bakri waste landfill site in Muar want the authorities to relocate the dumpsite as soon as possible.

"The stench, flies, insects, and smoke from frequent open burning being carried out at the site has caused many residents to suffer from health problems,'' said villager Lim Boon Tai.

"The intolerable stench has made our lives miserable for years and it has turned our village into a 'ghost village'.

"Visitors avoid coming into our village as the stench will remain on their clothes for days," he added.

Concerned over the health problems of its 1,000 residents, a six-man committee was formed to help seek a solution.

Speaking for the committee, Lim, who is a joss-stick manufacturer, said the sitehad already been filled to capacity.

He added that the committee had submitted a memorandum to the Housing and Local Government Ministry last week requesting that the landfdl be relocated.

It also wanted the authorities to stop the dumping of waste at the site by other districts, to repair damaged roads leading to the site, and to lay earth over the waste.

Bakri member of parliament Er Teck Hwa, who visited the site on Monday, said the unhygienic condition of the site coupled with the current dry spell, poseda health hazard to nearby villagers.

He said the authorities had promised to relocate the dump in stages, but no action had been taken as yet.

Er called on the Muar Municipal Council and the Health Department to monitor the situation closely and keep the village clean and disease-free.

He also said that irresponsible people were dumping domestic and factory waste on the roadsides in the village as the landfall was full.

Muar Municipal Council president Abdul Wahab Ridwan said 50ha of swamp and at Jalan Sengkang in Pagoh had been identified for the new sanitary landfill.

An Environmental Impact Assessment study was being carried out. It would be completed by year end.

Wahab added that advanced technology would be used at the new dump site.

There were also plans to extract methane gas from the waste and turning certain waste into animal feed and fertiliser.

He said the current site would reach full capacity by the end of next year.

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