State Public Utilities Minister Stephen Rundi Utom said he will discuss outstanding issues regarding Bengoh Dam with Chief Minister Adenan Satem and Mambong Assemblyman Jerip Susil.
He was referring in particular to people still carrying out agricultural activities within the security area of the dam, which left it at risk of becoming polluted.
“Unlike hydro (electricity) dams, the Bengoh dam is a raw water reservoir meant to supply potable water to Kuching, Samarahan and parts of Serian. As such, there should not be any activity near it that could pollute the water there,” the Borneo Post quoted him as saying.
He said managing and operating a dam was complex given the maintenance, security and safety aspects involved. He cited the possibility of floods or other unforeseen incidents taking place.
He hoped the Department of Civil Defence would take action against errant parties in Bengoh, according to a report in the New Sarawak Tribune.
“The Kuching Water Board (KWB) should also be able to find an amicable solution by engaging with the people carrying out agricultural activities in the dam area,” said Rundi. “It’s about not compromising the security and safety of the dam.”
He called on the Civil Defence and the KWB to ensure there was an early warning system in place, with contingency plans and response times worked out, in case of an emergency.
“The people must be contactable at all times,” Rundi was quoted as saying by the New Sarawak Tribune. “There must be drills planned with the people so they understand the technicalities involved.”
Bengoh Dam, a raw water reservoir, was built to ensure sufficient water supply for a population of one million in greater Kuching until 2030.
Source : FMT Reporters Online