– by Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 10: Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi today clarified that a project to supply piped water to Rumah Munan in Ensawang, Lubok Antu, has been approved under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).
“For Projek Bekalan Air Luar Bandar Kawasan Lubok Antu Fasa II (Lubok Antu Rural Water Supply Project Phase II), Sarawak, it is under the 11MP, under the Rural Development Ministry’s (KPLB) approved project list.
“Construction cost is under KPLB and is under the detailed design stage. It is pending for the value engineering (VE) lab to be conducted. It was tentatively scheduled for May 22 to 25 but was postponed.
“The lab is likely to be scheduled on Oct 22 to 25; still pending for the schedule from KPLB,” said Dr Rundi in a statement today.
He was responding to an article by DayakDaily yesterday titled ‘Rh Munan folk appeals to govt for piped water‘. The story featured nonagenarian Laing Manggie of Rumah Munan, who lamented about not having piped water in her settlement.
Three years older than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Laing never ever has had the chance to see piped water in her village. Like all her neighbours, she depends on rainwater for her daily endeavours. During the dry season, the villagers have to fetch water either from a murky stream nearby or from the crocodile-infested Batang Ai.
Villagers claim their water woes had been highlighted in the media over the years, but the government never moved an inch to help them.
Meanwhile, when contacted, an officer from the Rural Water Supply Department, explained that for projects costing more than RM50 million, it had to go through a standard procedure of value assessment, value management and value engineering.
“This is the standard tendering process that has to be followed before a project can be implemented. That is why it takes time to implement a project,” said the officer. — DayakDaily