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BALAI RINGIN: The residents of Balai Ringin have been suffering from water shortage for about two months.
They speculated it was due to pipe leakage caused by the ongoing Pan-Borneo Highway construction in their area, though they could not provide any evidence to substantiate their claim.
They said this has been the first time ever that the residents in the area experienced such dire lack of water where on some days and nights, their taps were completely dry. And even at times when there was some water trickling through, the volume was so little that it frustrated many of them.
They said the further away a village was from the Balai Ringin Water Treatment Plant, the worst was the water supply.
Zong Sin Shin, 50, a resident of Balai Ringin town said since two months ago, there has been no water supply during the daytime.
“It is only in the evening, after 8pm that there may be some water coming from the tap. And even so, the water volume is so little. Most times, water only comes in the middle of night, and we have to get up to keep some water for use the next day.
“For the last two months, my wife has to do laundry in the middle of the night,” Zong told DayakDaily today.
He said this was a frustrating situation. Complaints have been made to the Rural Water Supply Department in Serian, but no action seemed to be taken.
“We saw men and officers from the department. They came to look here and there, check this and that but the problem is still there,” said Zong.
He said all the schools in the area including SMK Balai Ringin and SJKC Sungai Menyang have been badly affected.
“There was an incident where all the boarders of SJKC Sungai Menyang have to take shower in the open air from one hose. The adults felt sorry for them but these children were so happy because it was a rare experience,” said Zong.
Zong said those staying in the town areas were considered to be the lucky ones. The villagers living further away have been suffering a worse fate.
Tanah Mawang resident Albert Riji Ginus, 53, said the three villages consisting of about 120 families within his area have been experiencing water shortage where Kampung Menyang (Kpg Menyang) has been hit worst.
“Kpg Menyang is farthest away from the main road. Before the water shortage problem, water supply to the village was already weak. And now with the water shortage problem, there is no water for them day and night,” said Riji.
Riji also wondered whether he would be receiving any water bill this month in view of the fact that for the last two months, water supply has been scarce and most times, the taps were completely dry.
He however, then answered the question himself that he was very certain that the bill would come and he still needed to pay for it.
Meanwhile Heitty Othman, 28, from Kampung Melayu Balai Ringin also said for more than one month now, the village of 129 families has been suffering from water woes.
She said the whole village has been very frustrated and upset and multiple complaints have been made. However, nothing seemed to change.
“Just yesterday, the whole day there wasn’t a drop of water. It is frustrating,” said Heitty.