A mystery illness has reportedly struck native families living in Rumah Bansan longhouse at Sungai Bedengan near an aluminium smelting plant in Mukah.
The public needs iron-clad guarantees from the Sarawak government – certified by truly independent health and environmental safety engineers/inspectors – that there is no link between the aluminium plant, which is 300 metres away, and longhouse illnesses since September 2009. Failing which, the state government, which has very little credibility, can hardly be believed.
From Free Malaysia Today:
Explaining the ‘mysterious illness’, Tuai Rumah (longhouse chief) Bansan said the community has been “experiencing all sorts of health problems such as breathing diffuculties, coughing and skin diseases” since the construction of the smelting plant.
“The air here now has a stinging smell and the rain water which we collect and use for drinking is turning black.
“The environment is also suffering. All the fish in nearby rivers and in ponds are gone, paddy and fruit trees cannot bear fruits and our vegetable cannot grow,” he told a team from the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) early this week.
Reiterating his suspicion to Sadia, Bansan said “his people’s life and their livelihood are in danger of something from the plant.”