By John Isaac
THE Sarawak government aims to supply treated water and electricity to all areas in the state by 2025.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said the Ministry of Utilities and its implementing agencies; Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB), Kuching Water Board, Sibu Water Board, Laku Management Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) would help the state to achieve its aim.
“For both water and electricity, short to long term initiatives under the Sarawak Water Supply Master Plan, State Water Grid Programme and the Sarawak Rural Electrification Master Plan were implemented in 2018.
“Resolving the immediate water problem issues faced, the Sarawak Water Grid Supply System-Stressed Areas funded under Projek Rakyat will improve the current water supply situations in Sarawak and aims to bring an end to water woes in Sarawak,” he said after chairing the State Utilities Task Force project monitoring meeting.
According to the New Sarawak Tribune, the minister added RM4 billion was allocated for 321 water supply projects in the water programme under Projek Rakyat which aimed to resolve the water supply reliability issues in water-stressed areas and provide potable water supply to those without access to this basic amenity.
“As of now, 165 projects have been completed while the remaining 156 projects are expected to be completed by 2023.
“The completion of all these projects will minimise immediate water supply issues in the water-stressed areas by increasing the volume of treated water delivered to the consumers and improving the water supply pressure,” he explained.
Awang Tengah revealed that a total of RM2.37 billion was allocated under the Sarawak Government’s Projek Rakyat Accelerated Rural Electrification Master Plan.
“The cost includes the Rural Power Supply Scheme (RPSS) that extends and enhances the main grid infrastructure to rural areas with new substations built as power injection points and allows for subsequent Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) Last Mile connections to localised areas for eventual supply to domestic houses,” he said.
Awang Tengah added that since 2019, five substations had been completed and commissioned at Batang Ai, Pakan, Julau, Ng. Ngungun, and Sebauh.
Another five were currently under construction at Tatau, Kanowit, Dalat, Sangan and Belaga.