Julaihi: Pipe relocation must be done before ground works to avoid leakages, water disruption

Julaihi (seated centre) with the participants at the Sarawak Water Supply Retreat 2022 held at Damai Beach Resort today (Aug 19, 2022).

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 19: Pipe relocation must be done prior to road alignment works, especially those affected by the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway to avoid water supply disruption to households.

Sarawak Minister for Utility and Telecommunication (MUT) Datuk Julaihi Narawi recalled that the recent major pipe leakage at Mile 7 Jalan Miri-Bintulu which affected the water supply to approximately 65,000 households ought to be a lesson for the MUT staff and contractors.

He noted that such an incident involving public work projects occurred due to ground movement within the area, which led to the dislodgement of the pipe’s joints.

“What’s important is that whenever there is a road construction project including the Pan Borneo Highway, the idea is that they must relocate all the pipes before the road alignment works. This is something we have agreed upon (with the relevant agencies and contractors).

“Otherwise, there is not much problem. We learn from experience and I think it should be okay in the near future,” he told reporters after officiating at the closing ceremony of Sarawak Water Supply Retreat (SWSR) 2022 held at Damai Beach Resort here today.

Earlier in his speech, he mentioned that he was informed by his colleagues that there were many unscheduled notices issued by the agencies under MUT related to works on the ground.

“Members of the public have more awareness now of the main cause of the (water) leakages on the ground.

“I think now they don’t simply put 100 per cent blame on the water agencies anymore as they realise that the leakages are caused by the relevant departments who have works to be completed on the ground.

“Even though it may be related to only certain departments and agencies, I think we are still also a part of it and we need to solve the problem together with them,” he said.

Themed ‘Towards Resilient Water Supply and Embracing Digital Technology’, the SWSR this year was organised by Kuching Water Board (KWB) which serves as an avenue for water supply agencies in the State to meet and share their experiences, interact and foster close rapport.

There were five workshops group covering ‘Water Treatment & Quality Control’, ‘NRW (non-revenue water) Reduction’, ‘Finance & ICT’, ‘Operation & Maintenance’, and ‘Developing Guidelines for The Implementation of SAWAS Projects’. — DayakDaily