Premier moots building cascading dam in Baram

Abang Johari (sixth left) and Dr Penguang (fifth left) photographed putting "Unity Paddle" into the "Unity Box" while (from second left) Ting, Anyi, Abdul Karim, Gerawat, Manyin and Dennis look on during Baram Regatta 2023 event on Sept 30, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Information Department (JaPen)

By Shikin Louis

BARAM, Sept 30: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has mooted building a cascading dam in Baram to generate electricity.

He recalled a conversation he had with Federal Minister of Works Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi on the discontinuation of express boat services following the completion of road construction from Kapit to Nanga Mujong.

As the rivers became still due to lesser human activity, he said this encouraged crocodile breeding, where villagers have reported increased crocodile sightings.

“Therefore, I think if the rivers are not being used, let us aerate the water by building cascading dams so that they would be like waterfalls through turbine (technology).

“When the water falls, this would create small bubbles containing oxygen. When you produce oxygen, this helps the fish to live while the crocodiles ‘run away’.

“Additionally, when you put a turbine there, you can produce electricity,” he explained during the Baram Regatta 2023 event here today.

He further said he would discuss with Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil (who is also Marudi assemblyman) and other leaders in Baram on the idea of building a cascading dam in the area.

“I will discuss with Penguang and Baram team later whether you want crocodiles or you want electricity. It is up to you. We do not force people.

“Use your faculty of logic so that they also benefit people without hurting people and without harming the environment. This (cascading dam) is a new technology.

“I will also share with the Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) Datuk Gerawat Gala (who is also Mulu assemblyman) on a book about new technologies, and I hope Sarawak areas can continue to develop,” he added.

Also present were Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (Tourism) Datuk Sebastian Ting; Baram MP Dato Anyi Ngau; Penguang; Gerawat; Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and former Sarawak Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong. — DayakDaily