The water problem in Kelantan is getting worse, and people are forced to rely on water vending machines.
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Malaysians love coffee, teh tarik and Milo.
But in Kelantan, they do not expect the ‘beverages’ to come straight from their pipes at home and are free of charge.
Blackish and brownish like Malaysians’ favourite drinks, the water quality is getting from bad to worse, and people have fallen prey to skin diseases.
Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.
Upset with local authorities’ apathetic attitude, the people of Kelantan are taking to social media to speak out against the supply of contaminated water.
Aku tak faham kenapa air di kelantan bertahun2 kotor? Jabatan Air Kelantan buat apa? https://t.co/UY3nr6sKjT— Khainizam Mohamed (@khainizamohamed) September 8, 2022
Some said the pipe water is getting mixed with the slime, and nobody has come forward to repair the pipelines.
They complained that the suffering had been happening for years, if not decades, but nobody from the authorities had come to their rescue.
Insyaallah dia dah janji 30 tahun lagi— Pak Ngah (@shamsul__kamal) August 11, 2020
Boleh lah pakoh PAH semular PRU depey ni pic.twitter.com/tfxVR0VSTx
@nininijaa takut kulat jub* jah guno air ni wak basuh berok kecing . #airkelantan #kelantan ♬ original sound – ameerah ketereh
Kelantan people demanded that the state government should come and check the contamination otherwise situation would become even worse.
Some said small children are the worst affected due to water contamination, and they are worried about their kids’ health.
As the authorities were not listening to them, they continued to stage protests on social media.
Keadaan air di Kolej Matrikulasi Kelantan.Air yg masuk dari AKSB keruh teruk & terpaksa digunakan oleh 2000 orang pelajar.Air sepatutnya membersih,tp boleh jd punca kekotoran & pembawaan penyakit (kulit gatal, alahan dll).Sedih & kecewa @KKMPutrajaya @KemPendidikan @KelantanGov pic.twitter.com/fNe2G2aonh— Shu 💜 (@shu_jamais_vu) February 19, 2022
Aku mulanya ingatkan ni kawah penuh kuah kacang tgh tumis sampai pecah minyak, n yg metallic tu senduknya.. RUPA-RUPANYA BUKANNN!— The Mamu™ 🇲🇾 (@The_Mamu) June 3, 2022
Kelantannnn! Tolong laaaa.. ya Allahhh.. pic.twitter.com/N2iPm8Rkr2
Fending For Themselves
Sharing their experience, Kelantanese told how difficult it is to find a source of clean water.
They had to rely on water vending machines that are usually located some distance from their homes, especially for kampung folks.
Even then, there are doubts about the extent of the water quality and some would rather spend more to buy mineral water.
Duduk Kelantan mmg aku tak beli air mesin ni sebab air yg ditapis ni mmg la bersih tapi rasa was-was nak minum.— Power Rangers Merah (@HelmyZulkefli) September 11, 2022
Penyudahnya air mineral la jawabnya buat minum.
Mandi air paip Kelantan pulak nak dpt bisul atau kudis mmg tinggi. https://t.co/qmgWDv8oyZ
According to some people, the water obtained from the vending machine usually lasts only a day.
Instead of tackling the elephant in the room, the authorities seized some of the water vending machines on grounds that they were unlicensed.
17/08/22 – Operasi Bersepadu Mesin Jual Air (MJA) seluruh negeri Kelantan.— Mohd Mahzuz (@judasmad) August 21, 2022
39 mesin diperiksa & 26 mesin jual air disita & nilai sitaan
RM 104 000.00 – beroperasi tanpa lesen spt ditetapkan Akta Makanan 1983 dan Peraturan2 Makanan 1985. #keselamatanmakanantanggungjawabbersama pic.twitter.com/vb8oIU6WTw
Meanwhile, there are concerns for the elderly and disabled who may not have the strength to walk the distance to get a clean water source.
They had to buy a water machine to suck or draw water but it often resulted in even lower water pressure for others in the neighbourhood.