Massive logjam at Balui River causing hardship to Long Jawe villagers

Logjam along the stretch of the Balui River which Long Jawe is located. Photo taken on May 21, 2022.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 23: A massive logjam is building up in the Balui River at Long Jawe, causing much hardship and inconvenience to the villagers.

On May 21, Penghulu Peter Hoo, who was on his way to Long Busang, had to navigate through this logjam which was situated right in front of Long Jawe.

Hoo made a pit stop at Long Jawe and met up with its headman Japing.

“Japing asked me to help make the issue known to the authorities so that the logjam can be cleared as soon as possible,” Hoo told DayakDaily.

Japing had told Hoo that the logjam has been adversely affecting the livelihoods of Long Jawe villagers as they could no longer go fishing or attend to their farms as the floating debris in the river poses a danger for those travelling on the river.

“The logjam is always somewhere near Long Jawe. When the river water is rising, the logjam will be on the upper part of Long Jawe. When the water level is low, it will be below Long Jawe.

“It depends on which part of the Balui River it is. If it is the part where the river is wide, then, it stretches for between 500 to 600 metre-long along the river. If it is at the part of the river which is narrow, then the logjam may stretch to one kilometre long.

“And regardless how long it stretches, the logjam will fill the river, from this bank to the other bank,” said Hoo.

Hoo has been given to understand that despite a company being engaged to clear the debris, nothing has been done for last few years.

“It is Japing’s hope that the debris may be removed as soon as possible so that the villagers of Long Jawe may resume their normal life of fishing and tending to their farms,” said Hoo.

Hoo, who at the time was on the way to Long Busang to settle some matters, said the part of the Balui River plagued by the logjam was still passable, but someone had to be stationed at the front of the boat, to manually push the debris away to allow his boat to pass through.

It took him more than half-an-hour to travel over the stretch of river plagued by the rotten logs and debris, which added to his travel time.

“Without the logjam, it takes six hours from Long Jawe to Bakun by longboat and about three hours by speedboat,” said Hoo. — DayakDaily

The logjam along the stretch of the Balui River where Long Jawe is located. Photo taken on May 21, 2022.