Dudong longhouse residents receive much-needed water tanks

Longhouse residents along KJD Road, Sibu receiving water tanks from Utilities Ministry.

SIBU, Jan 21: A total of 38 longhouses along Mile 10 to 16 KJD Road receive 631 much-needed water tanks from the Utilities Ministry.

According to Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Dudong branch chairman Wong Ching Yong, the longhouse folks needed the water tanks as low water pressure may cause taps to run dry for days or even weeks.

The request for water tanks started as early as July 28, 2020 when 15 longhouse chiefs and Wong visited the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) in Sarikei.

“These 15 TR (longhouse chiefs) represented 40 plus longhouses along 10 to 16 mile KJD Road. They had suffered miserably from water shortages caused by very low water pressure.

“They also did not have water tanks. They did apply to the office of Sibu Resident for water tanks but were told that they were not qualified because their long houses were installed with tap water pipes,” said Wong in a press statement today.

Wong Ching Yong

The biggest problem of the longhouse chiefs was that due to low water pressure, they virtually had no water supply for days or even weeks. These longhouse chiefs, according to Wong, asked for water tanks so that they could stock up enough water for cooking, washing, drinking and bathing at times when taps ran completely dry.

“Even though JBALB could transport the water to their long houses, there were no water tanks to stock up the water. They could not rely on the river as a source of water supply because the rivers were polluted by the fertilisers and chemicals from the surrounding palm oil plantations,” said Wong.

Following the dialogue, JBALB Sarikei had been supplying water to these longhouses as an emergency plan to relieve their miseries.

Wong said upon his request, during Christmas time, Seng Lee Bhd had voluntarily supplied 50,000 litres of water to 20 plus long houses situated along Jalan KJD.

“Under the supervision of Permanent Secretary of Utilities Ministry Dato Alice Jawan, 631 water tanks have been distributed to 38 long houses in Dudong constituency.

“The cost of each water tank is approximately RM1,000, ie the Ministry of Utilities has allocated RM631,000 to alleviate the water woes of these residents in these long houses. The distribution of 631 water tanks started two days ago,” said Wong.

Wong pointed out that there is an ongoing long term solution involves the laying of new pumping main pipes, construction of booster pump stations and a reservoir along the KJD road to permanently solve the issue of water woes in the area.

“Once this is completed, the problem of low water pressure experienced by these longhouses residents will be solved. However, this will take time to complete,” said Wong who is also Sibu Rural District Council deputy chairman.— DayakDaily