Dry spell hits the wallet

Water shortage in some of the Malaysian states is proving costly for most Malaysians.

The shortage is particularly severe in Selangor - so severe that the government introduced rationing from on Monday.

Mr Adjmil Manglasa, a 35-year-old Kuala Lumpur-based retailer, said the lack of water is affecting his budget.

He said he had to fork out about RM600 (S$230) for laundry and food in two weeks because of the water cut in his neighbourhood, the New Straits Times reported.

He said it had been two weeks since water supply was affected and he had to take turns with his wife to stay home to ensure they did not miss the Syabas water tanker.

Syabas provides water to the state.

Said Mr Adjmil: "The water in the tanker runs out in two hours, so we have to make sure one of us is home to collect the water.

"We are not sure if the water is clean enough to consume, so we have no choice but to buy our food."

The father of two said he has been facing financial difficulties since the water crisis began.

He said the rationing exercise in Selangor would bring more difficulties.


Ms Ruzimah Yusof, 43, said she suffered from severe backache and stiff shoulders from carrying heavy pails of water for the past two weeks.

She said: "My husband is a lorry driver and he often goes outstation, so I have to manage by myself.

"I am lucky that my neighbour is kind enough to share water with me because the Syabas tanker normally does not stop and I cannot chase after it."

Checks by the New Straits Times showed that business at laundromats was booming because of the water shortage.

A laundromat owner who declined to be named said even though business had picked up, they can run only one machine at a time.

"The water pressure is low. We cannot carry out work at the usual speed," the owner was quoted as saying.

Water rationing in the state will affect about 60,000 households.

A Selangor government spokesman said the state was reducing the flow to four water treatment plants "until the weather improves".

Authorities have said planes are on standby to conduct cloud-seeding, but the spokesman said the effort has been hampered by inadequate cloud formation.

Last week, Negeri Sembilan declared a water crisis, mobilising to supply treated water to thousands of households.

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