KUCHING: The Disaster Operation Room at districts and divisions throughout Sarawak has been activated effective July 25 in view of the prevailing dry spell.
This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas following a special briefing held at the Samarahan Resident Office yesterday.
Uggah said every State Legislative Assembly (DUN) constituencies should also set up its First Response Team to handle untoward situations.
“This team is responsible for reporting water supply problems to the service centre of the assemblyperson and submit the complaint to the District Disaster Management Committee so that action can be taken to deliver clean water supply to the affected residents.
“The water can be supplied using tanks from the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) or bottles of drinking water from the Welfare Department (JKM),” said Uggah.
Uggah said the decision was made following prolonged dry weather conditions for about two weeks in Sarawak which caused some areas in Bau, Sri Aman, Pakan, Sibu, Kapit, Marudi, Limbang, Betong and Asajaya to experience water shortages.
As a result of the drought, JBALB has reported to the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBNS) that four water treatment plants under its supervision are badly affected and have requested for cloud seeding to induce rain.
These plants are the Simunjan Water Treatment Plant in Samarahan, Slabi Water Treatment Plant in Serian, Lundu Water Treatment Plant and Bayai Water Treatment Plant in Sri Aman.
Uggah said various agencies including JBALB, JKM and the Malaysian Armed Forces have gone to the ground and worked together to ensure that the affected areas could be distributed with clean water supply.
He revealed that the authorities were facing several issues in the effort to help the people in drought stricken areas.
“The large trucks carrying water tank cannot enter village road which makes it difficult to distribute water to the affected residents while cloud seeding is subject to weather conditions.
“Monitoring and reporting will be carried out by the Malaysian Meteorological Department and the authorities specifically JBALB and the Welfare Department are directed to deliver water within 6 hours of receiving complaints / reports from the Resident’s office,” said Uggah.