PARIT (Bernama) – Uncontrolled logging in Kelantan is the main causal factor for the massive flooding in the state, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim. He said to avoid such devastating foods in the state in future, replanting of trees must be carried out in the deforested areas.
“At the moment, flood-mitigation projects cannot solve the problem but we need to carry out reforestation in the areas involved.
“In Kelantan, the way they’re cutting down the forest trees, it is as though the state has no law, while the department which should be looking after the forests, has not taken action.”
He said this after visiting the flood relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Changkat, in Central Perak which houses 108 flood victims from 38 families. Shahidan said he would discuss with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on assisting the Kelantan government rehabilitate the deforested areas and on how to recover those reserve land, the status of which had been changed.
“Forest reserves are just that, and these forests are water catchment areas. So we must not fell the trees in the water catchment areas.
“We must do something quick…those who have carried out uncontrolled logging are not affected, but the people in Kelantan are suffering from the disaster that has befallen them,” he said.
He said those involved in uncontrolled or illegal logging must be brought to justice.