Toxic river causes thousands of injuries in Pasir Gudang
Toxic river causes thousands of injuries in Pasir Gudang
23 November, 2022
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In March 2019, a surge of reports and hospitalization of Pasir Gudang residents unveiled the extreme pollution of the Kim Kim river. It was found that the main cause of the pollution was the illegal dumping of toxic waste which had released hazardous fumes. This affected over 6,000 individuals, with 2,775 victims hospitalized.

After a thorough investigation, 3 people were arrested and charged with the crime which had caused the pollution of the river. The company responsible is an illegal tyre recycling company and the chemicals discarded into the river included benzene, acrolein, acrylonitrile, chloride, methane and many more. According to the Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister, YB Yeo Bee Yin, the total cost of remediating the river would be more than RM10,000,000.00. The polluted river was expelling toxic fumes that had first affected schoolchildren around the area. Victims reported symptoms such as vomiting and fainting after inhaling the foul odour from the river Kim Kim. Within a week, over 1,000 victims were hospitalized which prompted the closure of 111 schools in the area for a month. "Stern actions will be taken against those who fail to adhere to the Act," said the State Health and Environment Committee chairman, R. Vidyananthan, after the river was found polluted with chemical waste again in July 2021. The Act refers to the Environment Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) which makes provision for the prevention, abatement, control of pollution and enhancement of the environment. Meanwhile, the state Department of Environment (DOE) has sent drones and underwent in-situ water testing to monitor pollution sites. The residents of Pasir Gudang still live in fear to this day after the tragedy of the Kim Kim river pollution. The department urged the public to report any information of suspicious or illegal activity of dumping toxic waste into the Kim Kim river by contacting their hotline at 1-800-88-2727. Finally, on the 5th October of 2022, the Malaysia government passed the amendments of the Environment Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) to increase the penalty to not more than RM10 million as a warning and awareness so that no party arbitrarily pollutes the environment. In conclusion, all parties are responsible for preserving the environment because our lives are part of it and we must learn to live in harmony with our own mother nature. #sseayp2022 #DG8 #BeTheChange #waterpollution #econewslaos

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