Julaihi: Ministry targets 100 pct water supply coverage in Sarawak by 2030, currently at 85.4 pct

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(From sixth left) Julaihi, Abang Johari and others turning on the water tap to launch the Tanjung Manis water supply project. – Photo by Borhaniza Ali Basah.

TANJUNG MANIS (Feb 17): The current water supply coverage in Sarawak is at 85.4 per cent, and the rural coverage at 70.5 per cent, says Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

“In line with the Post-Covid Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030), my ministry will continue to intensify efforts to achieve the target of full water supply coverage in Sarawak by 2030,” he said.

He said apart from implementing new water supply projects, his ministry would also focus on upgrading and replacing the old and dilapidated pipes.

He added there are still 2,742km of old and dilapidated water pipes in the water supply distribution system throughout Sarawak.

“This is one of the main reasons for the high level of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) at 43 per cent,” he said at the official launch of the Tanjung Manis water supply project here today.

The launch was officiated by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

To address this problem, his ministry has therefore proposed the implementation of the old water pipeline upgrading and replacement programme.

“The Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM1.085 billion through alternative funding, which will be implemented in phases throughout Sarawak starting this year,” said Julaihi.

For the Mukah Division, he said the water supply coverage is at 83.6 per cent, covering five districts namely Mukah, Dalat, Matu, Daro and Tanjung Manis, including three sub-districts namely Balingian, Oya and Igan.

“To address the water supply problems and meet the needs of the population long-term water supply in Mukah Division, a total project cost of RM1.84 billion has been approved for the implementation of 45 projects in Mukah Division, of which 26 projects have been completed and commissioned, while four projects are ongoing and 15 more are in the planning stage,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the Tanjung Manis water supply project, he said the water treatment plant had already been commissioned on October 2, 2023.

He said the construction of the RM974.1 million Tanjung Manis Water supply project started on November 11, 2013 and was completed at the end of 2016.

“However, due to some technical problems and contract management, this project was delayed and was finally completed in September last year,” he said.

He said the Tanjung Manis water supply system is capable of supplying up to 50 million litres per day (mld) of raw water from Sibu to Tanjung Manis.

“A total of 30 mld of raw water will be treated at the Tanjung Manis Water Treatment Plant and then supplied to residents in the surrounding area.

“While the remaining 20 mld of the raw water is to meet the needs of the industrial area in Tanjung Manis,” he said.

At present, he said, based on current demand, the Tanjung Manis water supply system supplies an average of 8 to 13 mld of treated water to the Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) for distribution to consumers.

The areas that have benefited from the completion of this project include Pekan Tanjung Manis, Kampung Belawai, Kampung Jerijeh, Kampung Rajang, Kampung Serdeng, Kampung Sedau and Kampung Bekakong.

“In addition, the water supply system in Pulau Bruit will also be improved upon the completion of the “Proposed Water Supply to Pulau Bruit, Mukah Division” project, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year,” said Julaihi.

Components of the project include the construction of a high-level tank at Semop, Saai, Penibong and Penipah, the construction of Serdeng and Saai boosters and the installation of new pipes at Serdeng, Semop, Saai area and up to Penibong and Penipah.