Southwest Wind Season : Nation Expected to Face Negative Impacts, Government Agencies Ready

Southwest Wind Season : Nation Expected to Face Negative Impacts, Government Agencies Ready

PUTRAJAYA: The nation is expected to face various negative impacts, including health effects, water supply shortages, forest or bush fires, haze, and reduced agricultural yields due to the Southwest Monsoon anticipated to start this month and continue until September.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stated that all disaster management agencies are reminded to take proactive measures to mitigate related disaster risks.

As the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, he emphasized that this can be achieved through efficient governance based on disaster risk reduction in development planning, land use, water management, and maintenance, particularly under state jurisdiction.

“This issue needs to be prioritized to prevent further disasters and ensure sustainable development for the well-being of the people, especially future generations,” he said in a statement today.

He made these remarks after chairing the 1/2024 Central Disaster Management Committee (JPBP) meeting here, which was also attended by State Secretaries as Chairmen of State Disaster Management Committees (JPBN), technical agencies, and response agencies.

Ahmad Zahid, who also chairs JPBP, said the Southwest Wind Season is expected to bring drier weather, and most states will experience more days without rain.

The meeting also noted the Hydrogeology Database System (myGEMS) owned by the Department of Minerals and Geosciences (JMG) and the availability of groundwater resources that can be used as an alternative water source, including for firefighting in peat areas.

“There are 640 active wells for domestic use and 104 wells in peat and forest areas with a capacity of 176.13 million liters of water per day.

“JPBN is requested to take appropriate measures to face this situation by asking water operators to enhance their operational efficiency and provide logistical support to mobilize water supplies to affected areas,” he said.

Regarding firefighting operations, he mentioned that response agencies are on standby with proper logistical preparations to face open fires, and overall, he is satisfied with the government agencies’ preparations to handle the hot and dry weather during the Southwest Monsoon season.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid noted that the Department of Environment reported a total of 2,030 open burning cases were investigated, with nine cases taken to court, 630 referred to other agencies, and 100 compounds amounting to RM200,000 issued from January 1 to April 30.

In the same meeting, he launched the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Implementation Guideline Book in Malaysia, produced by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) in collaboration with the College of Engineering Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam.

The guideline book aims to ensure that CBDRM programs can be effectively implemented at all JPBN and district levels and standardize the implementation of CBDRM programs in Malaysia, in line with the goal of building a disaster-resilient community through preparedness activities.

The guidelines can be downloaded from NADMA’s website at www.nadma.gov.my.

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