Malaysia: Long queues for spring water on Sabah island

RUBEN SARIO The Star 29 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: With the dry spell showing no sign of abating, a spring remains the sole water source for hundreds of villagers in northern Pulau Banggi and the scores of people on nearby islands.

Banggi islander Salma Marail said there were long queues, until 3am the next day, to collect water from the spring at the foothill of Bukit Serong, near her village of Kampung Timbang Dayang.

“Sometimes the people leave almost empty-handed because the supply was reduced to a trickle,” she said.

Salma said the spring was in the middle of the jungle, about an hour’s walk from her village. It’s even more difficult for those from the other islands.

“They have to travel by boat and walk one hour to get the water, then it’s another hour to get back to their vessels,” she said.

Her village is about 13km from Banggi’s main settlement of Karakit.

Salma said although the Banggi water treatment plant was functioning, the amount it was producing was not enough.

Kudat District Officer Sapdin Ibrahim said the plant was running at 30% of its maximum capacity, producing two million litres per day, due to a drop in the water level at its intake point in the river.

State Natural Disaster Manage­ment Committee head of secretariat Kol Mulliadi Al Hamdi Ladin said district officials in Kudat were working with NGOs to distribute bottled water to the island, which has a population of 20,000 in 18 villages.

No hunting allowed in Sabah due to drought
KRISTY INUS New Straits Times 28 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: No hunting activities are allowed in Sabah with immediate effect following a directive issued by Sabah Wildlife Department here.

The temporary state wide freeze on issuance of all hunting licence was done taking into account of the prolong drought, the department said in a statement.

"This measure was a precautionary move and to reduce occurrence of forest fires. "The chances of forest fire increase with presence of human activity in the forest, for example hunting.

"We will withdraw the temporary suspension once the drought season is over," said its director William Baya.

Brief respite from the heat, heavy rain in Pahang all morning
T.N.ALAGESH New Straits Times 28 Mar 16;

KUANTAN: Residents in the state capital today woke up to heavy rain that saw cooler temperatures, bringing some relief after a prolonged hot and dry spell.

The heavy rain which continued till noon brought an end to weeks of dry weather and uninterrupted sunshine which had triggered a series of bush fires in the state capital. Pahang is among several states in the country which experienced a heat wave.

It had taken a toll on the people and farming activities.

A Fire and Rescue spokesman said the heavy downpour had brought helped put out forest and bush fires reported during the dry spell in several areas here.

"Although firemen have managed to bring the situation under control but the heavy rain today has completely doused the fires especially in Nenasi, Pekan," he said.

Pahang recorded an average temperature about 35 degrees Celcius and a high of 37 degrees Celcius during the heatwave.