Sunday, 9 October 2016

Oxidation ponds unhygienic and dangerous – Abdul Karim

October 9, 2016

Oxidation ponds are strictly out of bound to public as they are unhygienic and dangerous.

SIBU: Oxidation ponds are unhygienic and dangerous thus are strictly out of bound to the public,says Assistant Minister for Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He thus called for concerted efforts to secure such areas from being accessible by members of the public especially children. Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports was commenting on the oxidation ponds under Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in Sibu Jaya and types of safety measures taken to keep out the public, following the latest drowning case there last month.

“There are oxidation ponds in some HDC projects throughout Sarawak including Sibu Jaya. They are under the preview of the local councils where these ponds are located.

“It is just unfortunate that there are cases of accidents/drowning happening at these oxidation ponds. This should not have happened as these ponds are out of bound to public. There should not be any fishing or swimming at these ponds,” he emphasised.

Abdul Karim advised the local councils, village security and development committees (JKKKs), neighbourhood watch (KRTs), parent-teacher-associations (PIBGs), and parents to always forewarn public or children not to use these ponds as a playing ground.

“It is not hygienic, and it is dangerous,” the Asajaya assemblyman told thesundaypost.

Recently, Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu Jaya chairman Steven Rom called for the council to review the safety features at the oxidation ponds in Sibu Jaya, following the latest drowning cases involving a nine-year-old pupil last month.

Steven had mentioned that as these ponds were unattended, they became ‘attraction’ to children and adults for fishing activities, claiming that there had been four drowning cases in Sibu Jaya since 2013.

Meanwhile, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye pointed out that oxidation ponds should be in areas which the public could not access.

He noted in most cases, developers would normally have to construct oxidation ponds and after that, they had got to barricade them to prevent trespassing.

“Oxidation ponds can be very toxic and dangerous. So, I think the authority responsible, whether it is a private land owner, developer or anybody – it is important that they must not take safety for granted.

“They must do their part – these oxidation ponds are not trespassed and at the same time kept away from public through barricading or fencing around them.”

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