Over 1,000 villagers at Kampung Gading, north-eastern Borneo, have been using water from a river which has been polluted by a local pig farm with around 5,000 pigs.
Calls for the farm to be relocated have been made by Assistant Rural Development Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan.
Tawfiq’s assistance was sought by the villagers after not receiving a response to their complaint letter sent to the department of environment.
After visiting the pig farm and the river last week, Tawfiq commented that he was not “preventing the farm owners from rearing pigs, but that keeping the surrounding area clean should be ensured and business should be conducted without interfering with the local villagers”.
He said that a study will be carried out to investigate whether the farm should in fact be relocated and that the health and environment department should make sure that the farm is not responsible for pollution.
Supervisor of the pig farm, Yuen Fook Won, has expressed his apologies to the villagers. He commented that the pigs’ excrements had been sieved at seven pools before entering the river and the solid wastes would be used as fertiliser.
He is seeking government approval for relocating the farm to Telupid, northern Borneo- a pig farming area – due to the size of the pig population at the Kampung Gading farm.