KAPIT: A total of 56 Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (Sawas) projects will be built throughout the state this year and next year.
Assistant Minister of Utilities (Water Supply) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said the ongoing Sawas projects are being carried out in remote villages and longhouses.
“This is an ongoing project till all the remote longhouses or clusters of villages are supplied with clean and reliable water. The vision of the Sarawak government under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg by 2025 is that every Sarawakian, regardless urban or how remote the setting, benefits from clean and reliable water supply.
“Those who wish to apply, the criteria are the JKKK (village security and development committee) of the longhouse must apply through their respective elected representatives’ service centres and it must be recommended by the YB,” he explained when officiating at a Sawas awareness and education programme at Rumah Untat Pengiran, Sungai Melipis.
Dr Abdul Rahman said the mini treatment plants use Australian technology and expertise.
“The Sawas pioneer project commenced in 2017, where Sawas Phase 1 of RM4.5 million built three mini water treatment plants in Lubok Antu, Limbang, and here at Rumah Untat, where 80,000 lpd (litres per day) of treated water benefits 18 families comprising some 250 occupants.
“Rumah Untat serves as the pioneer project in Kapit. Sarawak is the only state in the country to initiate Sawas in 2017 where there is no main water pipe or road link, far away from the main treatment plant,” he said.
Dr Abdul Rahman added Sungai Melipis has greatly benefited from the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government’s Rural Transformation Project.
“Previously Melipis was considered very remote and lacking infrastructure, but now Melipis has improved by leaps and bounds, RC range jetty, tar-sealed road, Sares – Sarawak Rural Electrification Scheme, and Sawas – Sarawak Alternative Water Supply projects on going.
“With accessible roads, landowners could now develop their land for commercial purposes to generate income and add value to their land,” he said.
He also announced an RM5,000 grant for the Rumah Untat JKKK and another RM3,000 for the SK Ulu Melipis parent-teacher association.