KUCHING: A project to protect the coast from intrusion of salt water will be carried out between Sebangan and Sebuyau.
Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) was still doing the design for the project, which is among the component of the projects within the Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA).
He said the area between Sebangan and Sebuyau has been experiencing saltwater intrusion of late, due to damage on the old protection which was completed in the 1990s.
“Among the focus in IRSDA will be to build coastal protection to prevent the intrusion of salt water into the area, and for this year an initial allocation of RM700 million has been approved by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for the project as well as to repair the damaged ones, besides building other projects like roads,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday, adding that Abang Johari had approved a total of RM1.5 billion for IRSDA.
The Sebuyau assemblyman stressed that the intrusion of salt water not only affected Sebuyau town, but also the planting of various crops, and becomes worse during King Tide of between 6.3 and 6.4 metres.
“If we look at my area (Sebuyau), it was fertile for the planting of various crops, so when the old protection was completed in the 1990s, I was very happy because the farmers could plant their crops.
“But over the years, the old coastal protection became damaged and started leaking, leading to the intrusion of salt water into the area. So with the completion of the new project, the land can be used again by farmers to plant crops,” Julaihi said, while expressing his gratitude to the chief minister for approving the allocation.