Sunday, June 16, 2024

Logjam: Sarawak DCM urges timber licence not be renewed

KAPIT  — Logjam has occurred again in Baleh River here and it is feared to bring possible deadlier consequences than the one that occurred in 2010, said Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

In a post on his Facebook page today, Masing said such consequences were possible as smooth flow of the river was blocked by the construction of the Baleh Dam.

“It is a common knowledge among HEP (hydroelectric project) operators that logging activities at the watershed of HEP will cause siltation and thus will reduce the lifespan of the dam,” he said.


Seemed furious over the matter, Masing who is also Baleh assemblyman, blamed it on logging activities at the upper reaches of Baleh River.

“In order to stop this logjam from recurring, please do not renew their timber licences to operate at the upper reaches of Batang Baleh (Baleh River),” he urged.

The serious logjam in the head waters of Baleh River in 2010 had stretched all the way from Kapit to Sibu. Masing wrote that dead fish and wildlife including crocodiles were found dead floating in the river.

He said the Ibans residing along Baleh River were petrified and did a special offering to pacify the gods in Ulu Baleh, who they thought were angry at the environmental impact of logging activities.

“It seemed the miring ceremony of 2010 did not pacify the right gods.

“The ‘gods’ who caused the logjam are human beings! They are the timber concessionaires.

“They operate in the head waters of Batang Baleh with devastating environmental impact!” said Masing.

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