KUCHING: The water shortage issue affecting Pulau Bruit and the surrounding areas will be resolved by end of next year, says Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi.
He said the Sarawak government is aware of the issue, and it has taken the initiatives to tackle the problem.
“Not immediately, but by the end of 2020, we would be able to resolve the water issue problem, not only in Pulau Bruit, but in most of the surrounding areas,” he said when asked to comment on the plight of about 2,000 villagers of Kampung Sebakau, a fishing village in Pulau Bruit, Mukah recently.
The villagers, according to a Bernama report, wanted the authorities to look into their daily plight following some problems with the piped water supply that had gone on since early this year.
According to Dr Rundi, Pulau Bruit currently receives treated water supply from Sarikei, which has a capacity to produce only 8.5 million litres per day (MLD) – not sufficient to supply both areas.
He added that the Sarawak government had already approved a two-package project for Pulau Bruit, which upon completion by 2020, would add the capacity of the water treatment plant in Sarikei to 18 MLD, and should be able to solve the water problem in Pulau Bruit.
Dr Rundi said ‘a big project’ had actually been carried under the Tanjong Manis water supply, comprising eight packages. All the packages, he said, ‘were OK’ – except for the water intake, which used the river bed filtration (RBF) system.
The system was supposed to come with a capacity of 125 MLD, but it only managed to produce 51 MLD. Also, the water source had high ammonia content and therefore, there was a delay in resolving the water issue affecting the whole area.
On another note, Dr Rundi reminded any complainant or informer to verify any issues to make sure that they are genuine.
“I can give one example. This fellow, who has a house in Pulau Bruit, complained to us about no water (supply) in his house. (But) he does not even live there (Pulau Bruit) – he lives in Sibu.
“And upon receiving his complaint, my officer went to his house (in Pulau Bruit) and found there was water there. We have a video to prove that there is water in his house. We called him but he didn’t pick up the phone,” he said.
In this regard, Dr Rundi said for the benefit of consumers, any informer or complainant must give them the right information so that they could respond accordingly, and fast.
“I have told my assistant ministers and officers that they must attend to any complaint and issue brought up to the ministry.
“No question about it. It is important. If it’s not genuine, we will find out. If it’s genuine, we can resolve it faster, which is good for everyone,” he said.