‘Task Force to Ensure Treated Water Plans Follow State Grid’

LONG SILAT, Baram: The Ministry of Utilities is planning to set up a task force to ensure measures to provide full treated water to the people in the state will be implemented based on the State Water Grid master plan.

Its minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi said a special meeting will be held with the State Planning Unit and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg soon to discuss on matters stipulated in the master plan, which is now in the fine-tuning stage.

The task force is to ensure whatever being planned in the master plan will be implementable with priority. Several plans to develop the rural areas will be studied during the meeting.

We will have to look at how to spend the funding that we have based on our priority. We are looking at all angles in our effort to supply full treated water for the people in Sarawak, Dr Rundi told The Borneo Post when met at the handing-over ceremony of the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) projects for rural residents of Telang Usan and Beluru, here recently.

Dr Rundi emphasised that there was no way to develop digital economy, especially in the interior, without basic infrastructures and utilities such as tar-sealed roads, water and electricity.

Despite having the responsibility to think of plans to further develop the state and rural areas, we would not be able to simply provide all these facilities according to our will.

We would have to do it in phases and priority based on our master plan, with the convenience and allocation made available.

Therefore, I hope those who live far in the interior and have not been able to get the facilities will be patient because certainly, all the plans in our master plan will cover all people living in the rural areas who deserve such amenities, he said.

Dr Rundi revealed that since the implementation of Sares in 2016, over 2,000 households in 90 remote villages and longhouses state-wide are now able to enjoy 24-hour electricity supply.

He said the ministry and state government will continue efforts to ensure that people living in rural areas can enjoy such basic amenity. He also expressed his hope that the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development will aid in the funding of Sares.

The initiative taken by the federal and state governments through the National Blue Ocean Strategy has started bearing fruit.

By 2025, we should be able to supply full treated water and 24-hour electricity supply to all Sarawakians, he enthused.

Eight longhouses in Baram constituency, namely Long Tepen, Long Lunyim, Long Julan, Long Silat, Long Pejawai, Long Dunin, Long Nuah and Long Aton, received ownership of their

Sares solar systems at the ceremony.

State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Ministry of Utilities permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan, Sarawak Energy Bergad (SEB) group CEO Sharbini Suhaili, SEB general manager for research and development Dr Chen Shiun, SEB executive vice-president of corporate services Aisah Eden and local community leaders were among those present at the ceremony.

Source: Sarawak Government