12th August 2014;
Analysis of the samples of water and fish taken from Sungai Sarawak may take quite some time to be completed, said Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) controller Peter Sawal.
Peter said NREB required more time to conduct test on the samples for agro-chemical contents to determine whether the prawns at Sungai Sarawak were indeed poisoned as alleged, apart from looking into the “many conflicting reports” received by the board.
“The analysis may take quite some time. (There are) many conflicting reports. Give me a few days for detailed information.
“While there are allegations of poisoning which we need to test (the samples) for agro-chemical contents,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Besides looking at the possibility that the prawns might have been poisoned, Peter said the board could not discount the possibility that the sudden changes in the weather pattern recently might have caused the prawns and fish in the river to die.
“The sudden changes in water quality may cause changes in dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand and PH levels which may have impact on aquatic eco-systems including fish and prawns.”
NREB personnel took samples of water and fish from the river for analysis last Saturday and could only announce the actual or root cause after the completion of analysis.
Initially, it was believed that pollution was the root cause of the sudden presence of dead fish and prawns found floating along certain sections of the river on Saturday,
A check conducted near the Tun Salahuddin toll bridge in Pending found a number of fish carcasses floating in the water, which appeared to be covered in a thin film of oil, as well as dead prawns washed up on the bank.
A Facebook posting by the Kuching Central Police Station showed that several of its personnel were despatched to monitor sections of the Kuching Waterfront after members of the public reported similar cases of dead fish and prawns floating there.
Kuching North City Commission Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai was quite close to the allegation when he mentioned that “contamination was caused by chemical waste dumped into the river by unscrupulous people, or pesticides or weed killers washed into the river following the recent rains”.
Source: The Borneo Post
Malaysia: Analysis takes some time — NREB controller