By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Feb 12: The Sarawak Government has planned for Bakun Lake to be turned into a water sports centre of excellence for Sarawak.
According to Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, besides powering Sarawak, it is time for Bakun Lake to take on the role of more than just power generation.
“We plan to start the project implemented soon,” Masing told DayakDaily here today.
Masing who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development said, that the reservoir which will very soon be connected to the rest of Sarawak via road infrastructure can now take on the role of water sports, tourism and cultural hub of the central region.
“With a surface area of 675 sq. km and one of the largest reservoirs in Sarawak, the prospect of opening up Bakun Lake for sailing, windsurfing, amusement park and theme park is now possible. Because of this, the planning for the area has been mooted, thinking caps have been put on and planning is underway,” added Masing.
Masing stressed that the development of Bakun Lake into a tourist attraction will take time as careful planning is required where long-term sustainability of the whole development shall take precedence.
“Because Bakun Dam is an important asset to Sarawak, the government will also needs to look at demarcating the area into clusters of restricted and regulated areas and tourism sites.
“Besides basic infrastructure development such as jetties and basic amenities, the planning and development will need to take into consideration of environmental and cultural sustainable aspect for it to be a truly socially inclusive tourism development,” he said.
Masing said that the long-term objective of the government was to develop the area where local communities would participate and benefit from these tourism activities.
“Because of that, the development will be divided into smaller and feasible phases which allow time for capacity building of communities living around the lake, and help them to take part in the tourism value chain.
“For the purpose, Bakun Lake Sailing and Rowing Club will be registered,” added Masing. —DayakDaily