Villagers plant trees to help re­store logged for­est

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

KULIM: Villagers of Kam­pung Sun­gai Ten­gas in Terap have taken it upon them­selves to re­plant over 200 species of trees in a for­est re­serve near them to re­store the jun­gle which was badly af­fected by log­ging.

Ber­nama re­ported that Do­mes­tic Trade and Con­sumer Af­fairs Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Sai­fud­din Na­su­tion Is­mail said log­ging in 40ha of Gu­nung Bongsu For­est Re­serve had pol­luted the vil­lage’s wa­ter sup­ply and caused flash floods with drown­ing cases.

“The log­ging hap­pened un­der the pre­vi­ous state govern­ment af­ter the per­ma­nent for­est re­serve sta­tus was changed even though villagers protested.

“As the MP of Kulim Ban­dar Baru, I raised the is­sue to the Prime Min­is­ter and we got the log­ging to stop (in Au­gust),” he told re­porters af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in the re­plant­ing ef­fort yes­ter­day.

He said the per­ma­nent for­est re­serve sta­tus should have been main­tain to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment for fu­ture generations but due to greed it was ne­glected.

“Is­sues that af­fect the peo­ple are the pri­or­i­ties of the min­is­ters and we are al­ways driven to re­solve so­ci­etal prob­lems,” he added.

Kam­pung Sun­gai Ten­gas Anti-Log­ging Ac­tion Com­mit­tee mem­ber Suhair Mohd Shar­iff said the log­ging led to ter­ri­ble floods in ar­eas that had never flooded be­fore.

“Two si­b­lings drowned in a car dur­ing a flood in Kam­pung Sun­gai Kob re­cently,” he claimed.

He said many of the villagers re­lied on nat­u­ral wa­ter rescources, which be­came tur­bid af­ter the log­ging be­gan.

“We are glad the log­ging has stopped and we took the ini­tia­tive to plant trees so that the area will be restored,” he said.

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