Dr Rundi explains how RM2.8b allocation will be used to solve water woes

Rundi delivering his winding-up speech in DUN today as seen in this screenshot from the DUN media feed.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 12: The State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today heard that the allocation of RM2.8 billion in the 2019 state budget would be used to implement Phase One of the Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme in stressed areas.

Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said this phase involved developing raw water sources, construction of new and upgrading of existing treatment plants as well as the building of a distribution network (new pipelines, reservoirs and booster stations) to increase the reliability of water supply.

“It will also involve improvement works (retrofitting water treatment plants and M&E works) to improve the efficiency of existing treatment plants and also to carry out pipe replacement works (for ageing pipes and upgrading of pipelines) to improve the adequacy of supply and pressure,” he said in his winding-up speech.

Dr Rundi added that non-revenue water (NRW) issues would also be addressed, including meter replacements. There would also be modernisation initiatives (supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada), electro-chlorination and other technologies) to increase efficiency in the water supply system.

The money would also be used for the Sarawak Alternative Rural Water Supply (Sawas) programme to increase rural water supply coverage.

He explained that the Sawas initiative was meant to provide safe and reliable water to remote and isolated communities that cannot be connected to the existing water supply systems.

“This programme is also essential in realising our vision of achieving 100 per cent water supply coverage in the state by 2025,” he said.

So far, five packages have been completed within 12 months, ending Oct 31. He said they were already supplying safe and potable water to 22 villages comprising 572 households with an estimated population of 2,860. The villages are in Sebauh, Baram, Lawas, Song, Sri Aman, Limbang and Daro. — DayakDaily