Malaysia — The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will be using deep tube wells to suppress fires on peat land throughout the country under the Peat Land Management Programme.
Its minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said to date, eight tube wells had been operational in Selangor (two), Pahang (three), Johor (two) and one in Sarawak.
Another eight are under construction in Pahang (two), Sarawak (four) and two in Sabah.
“We are now in the midst of finalising our plan to extend the use of tube wells to other peat fire-prone states in the country,” Uggah said.
He was speaking to reporters after opening an environment seminar organised by the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council in collaboration with the Johor Skills Development Centre, Department of Environment and Pasir Gudang Emergency Mutual Aid (Pagema) at Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort, here, Thursday.
Uggah said the use of tube wells was a ministry effort to achieve sustainability in peat fire-prevention throughout the country.
The method involves the drilling and extraction of ground water that will be channelled to maintain minimum water level in the peat land areas and each tube well can cater water for an area of up to 404.6 hectares.
He said check dams were also being used to maintain the minimum water level in peat land areas where 64 were operational in Selangor, Pahang, Johor and Sarawak, while 22 other dams were still under construction in these states and Sabah.
Uggah dismissed claims that deforestation had caused floods to occur in Johor recently, saying it was due to extreme climate change that also occurred in other parts of the world.
“The normal rainfall level during the monsoon period is about 200mm, but Johor recorded about 700mm in just three days, hence the flood,” he said.