ALOR SETAR, Kedah: Despite a heatwave alert, rice farmers in Kedah are not fretting.
Padi farmers like Shukri Osman, 36 and Sharun Mat Isa, 30, of Kampong Tepi Laut in Kedah, took advantage of the extreme dry weather to repair their padi fields after the last harvest.
“Some part of our padi plots were under knee deep mud which was not suitable for padi planting,” Sharun said. “Extreme hot weather caused the mud to dry up and lets us fill up the areas with new soil.”
The water supply from all the dams managed by the Muda Agriculture Development Authority (MADA) also had sufficient supply of water for the beginning of the padi planting season, beginning in April, the authority said.
“As at Mar 3, according to records, water reservoir level of all MADA dams are in comfortable level,” said MADA general manager Fouzi Ali. “The water reservoir level of these three dams are far better compared to the lowest level in 2017.”
A Level 2 heatwave alert was issued on Sunday (Mar 17) for parts of the Malaysian state of Kedah.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department warned Pendang district to expect temperatures of between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius over at least three consecutive days.
On Tuesday, Bernama reported that 30 areas in the peninsula are “in the alert level” with the temperature reaching between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius. Langkawi in Kedah was one of the districts issued a Level 1 alert.
BOOMING BUSINESS FOR DRINKS SELLERS
The heat has benefitted coconut water and sugarcane juice sellers who said business has been brisk at their stalls along the main roads in Alor Setar.
Asmuni Hamzah, 32, said his fresh coconut water sales has more than doubled since two weeks ago due to the hot weather.
“During normal weather, I managed to sell about 200 coconuts a day at my stall,” Asmuni said.
“Since the beginning of the unusually hot weather two weeks ago, I managed to sell 400 to 500 coconuts.”
Coconut water seller Latiffah Yahya, 45, said her sales have also been boosted.
“Normally I will finish selling 100 coconuts a day. The hot weather increased my sales to 150 coconuts,” she said.
Sugarcane water vendor Alias Murad, 52 said he managed to sell 70 to 80 cups of sugarcane juice a day.
“During rainy day, I can’t sell that much,” said Alias.
Clerk Tyni Mazlan, 34, said the hot weather makes her thirsty and she has been buying coconut water more frequently to beat the heat.
“The weather is really very, very hot,” said Tyni, who added that coconut water cools her down.
STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT MONITORING SITUATION
The State Health Department is closely monitoring cases related to the hot weather in Kedah, it said.
State Health Department Director Norhizan Ismail said no cases related to the heatwave have been reported so far.
“Seek treatment immediately at nearby clinic or hospital, if there are symptoms caused by hot weather such headache, tiredness, lack of concentration, dizziness, weak muscles, cramps, nausea, vomiting and symptoms of severe dehydration such as confusion and unconsciousness,” Dr Norhizan said.
Syarikat Air Darul Aman Sdn Bhd (SADA), the water supply government-linked companies of Kedah State will not carry out water rationing as the water level at all dams which supplied raw water to water treatment plants at most of the heatwave affected areas are still at a normal level.