News: Ministry prepares to minimise impact of El Nino

NST, 13 May 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) is working closely with all state governments to prepare for the El Nino phenomenon.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, said the Water Crisis Committee chaired by his deputy, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, had been entrusted to monitor the situation and come up with appropriate measures to minimise the impact of El Nino on the country.
“We have been advising all state governments to take appropriate measures to face the El Nino phenomenon. We are working closely with the Department of Meteorology and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to monitor the situation, as well as linking up with relevant bodies monitoring climate change in the region,” he told Bernama here.
Ongkili said the ministry would also issue an advisory to all state authorities to check the level of reservoirs and dams across the country to ensure that water supply would be adequate until October this year.
Ongkili said this was because it was within the state governments’ jurisdictions to ensure adequate raw water supply for all their water treatment plants.
The ministry would also monitor the Selangor government’s efforts to build raw water reserves, he said.
The minister was commenting on Bernama’s report on May 7 that the United Kingdom Meteorological Office had forecasted a high likelihood of El Nino striking Southeast Asia in the middle of this year.
Local weather experts, however, could not yet ascertain whether Malaysia would be affected, but the phenomenon would inevitably lead to a dry spell lasting about six months for the country.
The experts had already cautioned the relevant authorities to make early preparations in facing El Nino and avoid a serious water crisis.
El Nino is a warming of the ocean surface that occur in period of six consecutive months every two to four years in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
It can cause a chain of climate change around the world and the effect is heavy rain in some areas while in the another prolonged drought.
Ongkili also advised the public to cut down water consumption.
“Since El Nino will affect everybody, we need everyone, including the media, to continuously alert the public to conserve water.
“The public needs to cut down water consumption. Otherwise, our water reserves will be depleting soon,” he added. — BERNAMA

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