Probe on pipe leakage affecting Santubong areas still ongoing, says deputy utilities minister

Dr Abdul Rahman speaks to reporters.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 26: The major pipe leakage which affects residents from Jalan Sultan Tengah up to Santubong yesterday afternoon (Aug 25) may have been caused by high water pressure.

Following the incident, JBALB Kuching Division have immediately set up Centralised Water Collection Centre in several areas and conducting house-to-house water delivery to cater for water supply needs to the local residents before the problem was finally resolved at 7pm last night (Aug 25).

Sarawak Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi refused to make a comment as he has yet to receive the full report on the problem.

However, he acknowledged that the State water agencies often receive complaints about pipe leakages because some of the pipes have worn out, with some reaching over 30 years old.

“If the water pipelines are of AC type (asbestos cement), the pipe will likely wear out due to soil and weather conditions after a long period of time.

“Another factor is when we have certain projects in the area such as constructing a new booster pump station and high level water tank with big pipes.

“All these components will result in high water pressure and when these water flows through the old AC pipelines, the pipes will break,” he told reporters when met after the closing ceremony of Tabika Kemas Children’s Potential Day held at Yayasan Sarawak, Jalan Sultan Tengah here today.

He also did not deny the possibility that the leakage involving new pipes may have been caused by technicality problem when pipe installation is concerned and other factors.

“Hence, we will conduct an inspection and figure out the main factor which led to the leakage incident,” he added.

Dr Abdul Rahman who is also Minister-in-charge of Islamic Affairs and Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) as well as Pantai Damai assemblyman, further explained that the Sarawak government has already allocated a sum of RM4 billion for the development of the Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme since 2018 to address water supply issues in severely affected or stressed areas.

These projects include construction works of water treatment plants, water storage tanks, booster pump stations and pipeline installation.

He also called on members of the public who witness or experiencing water supply issues to report to the State’s water supply system command centre such as Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB), Kuching Water Board (KWB), Sibu Water Board (SWB) and Laku Management Sdn Bhd (Laku). – DayakDaily