A town near the capital of Malaysia has gone for days without water.
An ammonia contamination at the water treatment plant led to disruption of water to the residents.
Although the water company has carried an emergency action plan to supply water the residents claim that it is not enough.
Low rainfall over the past few weeks and high temperatures has not helped the situation.
It has been two weeks since the residents of Belakong have had access to running water. Ishak Samsudin is one of the residents there. “We are angry. Water is important, if it’s like this it’s difficult.”
Each drop of water is precious. Most are relying on water driven in on tankers – provided by the government Other are walking to the nearest river or running tap. Sabrina Mat Stafor came with her child.
“I brought my child here so that she can shower. There’s no water at home. It’s been two weeks now. It’s hard to shower, eat, cook. (Do the tankers come here to provide water?) They do but it’s not enough.”
They are demanding the government do more.
An opposition minister also received reports that water trucks were being diverted to areas that housed supporters of the ruling coalition. Ng TienChee is an opposition politician.
“Many residents feel this is not fair as the operation rooms directs the tankers to their areas or that of their people first, before sending it to areas of the ‘normal’ people that don’t support them.”
In a phone interview with the corporate director of the water concessionaire they have denied these allegations. According to them the plant cannot process water from the river due to pollution, and they are working round the clock to supply water to areas affected by water shortages. Abdul Halem Mat Som Syabas is the Executive Director of Corporate Affairs.
“The area affected due to this shutdown is quite huge, about 100,000 over houses. The area affected is not only in Belakong. so definitely we don’t have enough, and we also have difficulties to make sure that all areas are receiving water from our tankers, mainly because we have limited tankers, we cannot put all our tankers to Belakong.”
With the dry spell continuing dams and water plants in other states have not been able to keep up with the demand for water.
Several states are planning to start cloud seeding. And rationing in some areas as already began.