A prolonged drought in parts of Malaysia is making life very difficult for those living there while also causing great damage to the country’s agricultural sector.

The water levels of 20 dams and 21 rivers nationwide have dropped by up to 1 metre in just one week, creating a very real water shortage crisis. In Kluang town in the southern state of Johorrtages, more than 51,000 households are seeing their supplies run out.

The drought has caused damage to more than 30,000 rubber growers in the districts of Bera, Temerioh and Jarantut in the state of Pahang, creating a detrimental drop in income.

Meanwhile, over 8,000 famers in Kelantan state have been forced to skip the current rice crop, creating estimated losses of up to 90 million ringgit (28 million USD). The Malaysian government has subsidised 400,000 ringgit (125,000 USD) for local farmers to buy water pumps for their rice.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak confirmed on February 22 that the government understands the seriousness of the current situation and is set to discuss solutions at a cabinet meeting next week.

He added the government is prepared to employ cloud seeding methods to create artificial rain if necessary, and reminded people to use water as sparingly as possible while the drought continues.-VNA