Pahang’s Fire and Rescue Department says it has cleaned between 60% and 70% of the bauxite pollution left from poor mining practices since clean-up began January 14.
“The clean-up operation is now divided into two teams. The first team is working on Bukit Goh area, which was recently added to the list,” the department’s director Datuk Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin explained. “The second team will continue with the cleaning as scheduled and they are now at the Kuantan Port junction.”
Abdul Wahab indicated that he expected cleaning to be complete prior to February 14, the scheduled date of completion.
“However, the Department of Environment will check and determine whether we still need to do more cleaning. We will comply and utilise all the facilities we have, including the road sweeper, mobile water tank and manpower,” he said.
Abdul Wahab said the department has conducted the job of cleaning up in the district according to orders from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak except in the area surrounding the Kuantan Port. The area is under the port management’s jurisdiction.
“Our work is not only to clean up the roads but also the drains, signboards, road dividers and railings and shop buildings which are badly affected by the bauxite waste and dust. It also depends on the situation. There were some shop owners who requested for us to clean their premises and some who wanted to do it on their own because the high pressure water jet we use may damage their buildings,” he said.
Director Abdul Wahab said the waste collected from the area’s drainage would be disposed of at a trash collection area in Jabor. Work was conducted every day, he explained, including on weekends. Further, if the department received complaints or requests were made for more cleaning to be done in a particular area, his department would comply.