Water authorities indifferent to plight of Kampung Spinang residents

A villager of Kampung Spinang in Meludam taking some water for bathing later. Dry taps are a part of the life of Kampung Spinang villagers.

KUCHING, June 20: It was literally a “very dry” Hari Raya Aidilfitri for the residents of Kampung Spinang in Meludam, near Pusa, Betong.

Their water taps ran dry during the festive celebration, and it turns out this was not a one-off thing. Water woes have been plaguing the about 100 families in the village on-and-off for years, and the authorities did not seem to bother to rectify the situation even though they have been alerted of this issue numerous times.

A woman villager bends down to show a dry tap.

On June 12, water supply to the village was totally cut off, and it was only five days later (June 17) that water trucks eventually appeared. During this “dry period”, the villagers depended on water from a nearby pond for washing and used mineral water for drinking and cooking.

Villager Nur Giselle, 45, is not only frustrated with not having water during the Hari Raya celebration but with the attitude of the relevant authorities, too.

“Three days before Raya, the water supply was cut off. I managed to ask an engineer from the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB), and he told me it was due to low water pressure and water pumping problem,” Nur Giselle told DayakDaily today.

“Even though the engineer promised an investigation would be carried out, nothing happened.”

Kampung Spinang folk in Meludam depend on this pond for water whenever their taps run dry.
Dry taps have forced Kampung Spinang residents in Meludam to reply on water sent by water trucks.

Nur Giselle and her family moved to the village in January this year. Since then, the water supply was cut off twice before the one on June 12.

The private pond behind Giselle’s house that her family uses for washing and bathing. For drinking water, the family is forced to depend on mineral water.

“I talked to some local villagers and they told me it has been like this for years. What I am unhappy about is that this is not a new problem. Why is nothing done to ensure consistent water supply to the village?”

Nur Giselle bemoaned that even though water trucks showed up on June 17, her family did not get a single drop of the water because her house was located at the far end of the village.

“We only managed to get some water from a water truck last night (June 19). I heard some villagers complain they did not get any water at all.”

Nur Giselle has taken to social media (Facebook) to highlight the plight of the villagers, with the hope it might catch the eyeballs of the authorities.

“If there is an outbreak of diarrhoea or food poisoning, I will blame it directly on JBALB,” she said. — DayakDaily