State water supply master plan study to cover needs till 2070

Liwan (seated 6th left) poses with participants of the workshop. He is flanked by Dr Abdul Rahman and Alice.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, July 12: The state government has embarked on its study to implement the water supply grid master plan to cover the whole Sarawak.

Assistant Minister for Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang said the water grid project will cover a structured planning divided into short term project covering the next three to five years, medium term (up to 2040) and long term (up to 2070).

“The long-term project under the water supply grid master plan would involve developing a Sarawak-wide grid that will eventually connect the anchor water supply system in Kuching, Sibu and Miri, with all the smaller water supply system under Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB).

“However, for the immediate term and under Phase 1 of the preliminary water supply grid master plan, RM2.8 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Utilities to undertake various projects between 2018 and 2020,” he said at the ministry’s workshop with the relevant agencies here recently.

Liwan said the short-term project, dubbed “Projek Rakyat Sarawak 2018-2020”, aimed to strengthen and reinforce water supply by addressing and resolving problems in stressed water supply areas, which are experiencing low pressure, inconsistent water supply, inadequate or under-capacity water supply infrastructure.

“This is the immediate priority, while a portion of this allocation will address access to water supply through SAWAS projects.”

Liwan, who represented Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, added that agencies under the ministry were committed in building greater awareness among the public and stakeholders on the government’s plan under “Project Rakyat Sarawak 2018-2020”

About 20 heads of department, senior officers and communication focal points from the ministry, JBALB, Kuching Water Board, Sibu Water Board and Miri’s LAKU Management Sdn Bhd participated in the highly interactive workshop facilitated by Sarawak Energy Bhd’s corporate communication team.

Participants focused on how to improve current process to streamline and speed up the dissemination of timely, clear, precise and accurate information to the public and target audiences, as well as developing programmes to build greater understanding of the ministry’s overall mission initiatives.

Liwan expressed his support of the initiatives to build and enhance rapport between the agencies and the media, who are key in disseminating accurate information to the public.

He said that the sharing of knowledge and experience would support communication responses in both social and mainstream media, adding that the sharing session would elevate communication skills in communication practitioners of the ministry’s agencies.

Assistant Minister of Electricity Supply Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and permanent secretary Datuk Alice Jawan were present. — DayakDaily