KUANTAN : The Pahang government estimates that RM20 million is needed to restore an area of 600 hectares in Tasik Chini, Pekan which was badly affected by mining activities.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the state government had allocated RM1 million from the rehabilitation trust fund for the effort, which is expected to begin in August.
The state government would also channel an allocation from the Forest Development Fund, and welcomes any individuals or non-governmental organisations who want to participate in the effort.
“Rehabilitation efforts will be implemented collectively between departments and in collaboration with education and research institutions in various aspects such as fauna, flora, hydrology and other related fields to meet the set objectives.
“The composition of the severely affected mine land is one of the challenges in the rehabilitation effort. The plan is outlined comprehensively to cover the biodiversity and hydrological aspects,” he said in a statement after visiting Tasik Chini today.
Wan Rosdy said he also wrote a letter to the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry to seek assistance in restoring the second largest natural lake in Malaysia.
He clarified that the effort has begun two years ago by gazetting Tasik Chini as a permanent forest reserve in 2019, and not after the issue went viral on social media recently.
According to Wan Rosdy, the state Forestry Department had initiated the rehabilitation process in stages by planting various species of bamboo, ground cover plants and other suitable tree species such as Merawan Siput Jantan and Meranti Temak Nipis.
“The Orang Asli community in Tasik Chini will also be given the opportunity to take part in the rehabilitation effort through sapling production and the department will allocate some money to build nurseries for them,” he said.
Wan Rosdy was optimistic that the efforts to rehabilitate Tasik Chini can be done, taking into account the success of restoring Sungai Ichat in Cameron Highlands which is now in Class One after years of being polluted due to illegal land encroachment for agriculture purposes.
BERNAMA / MALAY MAIL