Malaysia: Kedah reclamation ruining mangroves and livelihood


ALOR SETAR: Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the Kedah Department of Environment to stop a reclamation project taking place in Kampung Tepi Laut near Kuala Kedah here.

SAM president S.M. Mohamed Idris said the project had contravened environmental regulations and destroyed the area’s mangroves, adding that this would threaten the coastal fishermen’s source of income.

“We are alarmed that the state government and local authority allowed the project to take place although the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project has yet to be approved.

“The EIA report is now being exhibited for public review from now until March 25,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Mohamed Idris said a survey conducted found that a distance of about 1km out to sea had been reclaimed and nearly 10ha of mangroves along the coast had been affected.

“This will threaten the marine life and affect the income of some 500 local fishermen’s families who make a living in the area.

“They have told us that since the project began, their daily catch of fish, prawns, crabs, cockles, mussels and clams have dwindled between 20% and 30%,” he said.

Mohamed Idris said that previously, these fishermen were able to earn up to RM100 a day but now, they could earn only between RM40 and RM80.

“The situation is expected to worsen if the project proceeds and as more coastal mangroves are destroyed.

“The fishermen had objected to the project much earlier but this fell on deaf ears, and the state instead endorsed the project,” he said.

The reclamation when completed is for six 27-storey luxury condominium blocks with a starting price of RM238,000 per unit.

It is also to enable shoplots costing between RM499,000 and RM550,000 each to be built.

A check by The Star yesterday showed that no signboards were put up at the project site while reclamation works were actively carried out.

Attempts to get comments from state representatives were unsuccessful.

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