Water woes force estate dwellers to rely on the rain

A resident carries two pails of water from one of the water tanks in Padang Meha Estate, Kulim, Kedah.

KULIM: About 150 villagers living in an estate here have to depend on rainwater because two water tanks placed there by authorities go empty by noon.

The residents at Padang Meha Estate said they have been plagued by limited supply of clean water for more than six months and the situation has worsened since the movement control order came into effect.

The families in the estate, numbering about 40, do not have direct water supply to their homes because of a prolonged land dispute between them and the landowners. The Kedah government, through water company Syarikat Air Darul Aman, placed the two water tanks in their village late last year.

Villager Azmi Md Zain, 55, transporting a pail of water on his motorcycle in Padang Meha Estate.

The company tops up the free water in the tanks every morning but it will be used up by noon. For additional supply, the villagers would get water from a park within driving distance.

Because of the MCO, they said, they are not able to go to the park and have to resort to harvesting rainwater.

The villagers, who are mostly senior citizens and low-income workers, said they had complained to the water company about the insufficient supply but nothing has been done.

A backyard vegetable farmer, Azlan Awang, 60, said the dry weather was making things tougher.

“They would come to fill up the tanks at 10am and we would line up to get water. We are old and we are tired of going back and forth. With the MCO, and now the fasting month, it has become doubly difficult.”

Villagers assemble to voice their water woes in Padang Meha Estate.

Another resident, R Kanawadi, 57, said: “They should fill up the tanks at least twice a day. We have raised the matter with the elected representatives and the menteri besar’s office but nothing has been done.”

In an immediate response, state executive councillor Summugam Rengasamy said the water company had been alerted over the matter.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.