Abang Johari wants improved supervision on water catchment areas by Sarawak Water Authority

A picture sent by dayakdaily.com reader, showing the ever growing Kuching city. Following this, there will be greater demand for water not only in Kuching but also other growing cities in the state. - dayakdaily.com

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg said today he will direct the State Water Authority to improve its supervision on water catchment areas against any activity that can cause pollution.

“Yes, I will direct the water authority to upgrade its supervision because we do not want physical activities at the catchment areas to take place,” he said after officiating the 29th Kuching City’s Commemoration Day at the Indoor Stadium here.

“I will also ask the authority to take look at the AG Report,” he said , referring to the Auditor-General Report 2016 released yesterday.

The AG Report said that based on the Environmental Quality Report by the Natural Resources and Environmental Board (NREB), the water quality of 18 rivers was categorised as polluted and needed further treatment.

It also said that 58 catchment areas, which have been identified, have not been gazetted and this had resulted in the enforcement, supervision and rehabilitation not being carried out.

The AG Report said that the number of supervision and enforcement being carried out in other catchment areas was not sufficient to ensure that there were no illegal activities within the catchment areas.

“To ensure that the supervision is managed in a more efficient manner, orderly and achieved its desired objective, the water authority must take a number of steps,” the AG Report said.

It said the water authority and the various water boards must ensure that the people get sufficient and clean water supply.

The AG Report urged the water authority to cooperate with NREB to solve the pollution problems of 18 rivers which have been categorised as polluted.

It said these rivers are the sources of raw water for the treatment plants.

“The water authority must take steps to gazette all the identified water catchment areas immediately to prevent any activity that can cause pollution at the catchment areas,” the report said.

The AG Report said the water authority should continue to supervise all the gazetted catchment areas and must work with the Lands and Survey Department and the Forest Department. – dayakdaily.com