Halt timber activities at Bakun watershed to stop log jam, Masing urges

Log debris found at Long Jakah, which is situated near the upper reaches of the Bakun Dam.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 12: Timber activities should be prohibited at the Bakun watershed area to prevent log debris accumulation and siltation.

Calling for all timber activities to stop at Bakun watershed, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said huge deposition of log debris may also be caused by heavy rain.

“This log debris is located at the upper reaches of the Bakun Dam, at Long Jakah, which is downstream of Lusong Laku. The possible causes are heavy rain and cutting of trees upstream, both by shifting cultivators and illegal timber activities.

“Bakun watershed should be prohibited from timber activities as these activities may cause siltation, as shown in the yellowish part of the river (referred to the picture),” Masing told DayakDaily.

He said Sarawak Energy Berhad has been entrusted to monitor illegal logging activities in the Bakun Dam area to safeguard the life span of the Bakun Hydro-Electric Project (Bakun HEP).

Masing who is also Infrastructure and Port Development Minister said siltation will reduce the depth of Bakun Lake, and in years to come, will reduce the volume of water in the reservoir.

Following the decrease in the volume of the water in the reservoir, he said, water flow will be less to power the turbines which generate electricity.

“That is why heavy cultivation and logging activities which cause heavy siltation ruled out at watershed of any HEP,” Masing stressed. — DayakDaily