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Timah Tasoh Lake at risk of increasing pollution

PADANG BESAR, Feb 2 � Human activities around Timah Tasoh Lake such as industrial, agricultural, quarrying and municipal activities have contributed to the changing water and environmental quality of this man-made lake located about 17 km from the town of Kangar.

Although the water and environmental pollution in the catchment is not yet at a serious level, it could get worse unless the authorities make an effort to do something to preserve the lake which has been the heartbeat of the integrated agricultural development and flood control here.

Bernama’s checks found that irresponsible visitors who dumped garbage into the lake had not only turned it into an eyesore but also contributed to water and environmental pollution.

Malaysian Nature Society president (MNS) Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail said the study found that there was a decline in water quality in the Timah Tasoh dam, which could have an impact on the population and the quality of benthic organisms, an important food for water birds including migratory ones.

“Pollutants such as pesticides can also lower the water quality of the lake and accumulate in the body of benthic organisms (animals at the base of the lake) and can then enter the digestive system of migratory birds, he told Bernama recently.

He said the birds migrate to Timah Tasoh during winter in the northern hemisphere between October and March each year, and the habitat provides temporary food and home to migratory birds.

He said the suitability of the Timah Tasoh Lake as a bird habitat has led BirdLife International to recognise the area as an important location for birds or biodiversity.

Some 135 to 145 species of birds have been recorded in Timah Tasoh Lake. This has attracted bird and photography enthusiasts, he said, adding that the lake is located along the EAAF (East Asian Australasian Flyway), one of the most important migration routes of the eight trails in the world.

Meanwhile, a Tasman Tasoh lake fisherman who wanted to be known as Pak Non said the lake had been contaminated with rubbish for the past three years, no thanks to visitors who came for picnics and fishing and threw away the garbage at will.

“When the local fishermen community organised a ‘gotong royong’ activity in the morning to keep the area clean, by afternoon it was back to square one, with lots of garbage everywhere. It is just not worth the effort,” he said.

He hoped the authorities could educate the public to be more responsible and to keep the lake clean before it was too late.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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