Hornbill Unleashed

May 3, 2017

State government urged to look into stand-alone gravity feed revival, upgrade

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

The state government has been urged to look into not only reviving the stand-alone gravity feed water supply system, but also to upgrade and improve those that are still in use but are in need of repairs and improvements.

In making this call, State PKR vice chairman Boniface Willy Tumek also called for water catchments that feed these systems to be adequately protected to ensure that the catchment area remains sufficient and pristine.

“It is worthwhile to remember that all settlements anywhere in Sarawak already have a basic water supply system in place. Among the most common is the gravity feed system.

“In many rural villages that have already been served with treated water supply, this stand-alone system acts as a secondary source of water albeit untreated during times of supply disruption.

“However there are cases where these stand-alone systems fell into a state of disrepair due to lack of maintenance or have been abandoned completely and their significance only realised when water supply is disrupted for whatever reasons.

“All villages in the Bau and Lundu areas can testify to the usefulness of having a working gravity feed system as a secondary source of water,” Boniface, who is also PKR Mas Gading branch chairman, told The Borneo Post yesterday.

According to him, a steady and reliable supply of water is a challenge that is better met with a multiple source of water and a multiple system, preferably operating side by side.

Boniface was commenting on the ‘good news’ announced by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at the closing of Pesta Kaul in Mukah recently, where he mentioned that the state government is looking into pumping raw water from four hydro-electric dams and channelling it to treatment plants to be eventually piped to, amongst others, villages and long houses in the rural areas of Sarawak.

In his response, Boniface said a water supply system is not just about having an adequate supply of raw water, but also treatment plants with sufficient capacity to treat the raw water and a network of pipes.

“A reliable electric power supply to the treatment plants is a crucial component in the system and so is the condition of the water mains and sub-pipes.

“The rather frequent power outages in Sarawak have brought into sharp focus this factor.

“Old and broken pipes cause not just loss of treated water but also low pressure and, at times, total disruption of supply. Water consumers in the Bau and Lundu districts are painfully aware of this.”

He also said that the rapid population increase in some areas impacts directly on the adequacy of water while agricultural developments and practices impact the quality of water, citing the recently reported case of polluted water in Sg. Koyan as a case in point.

“Water supply to rural homes is also at times hampered by cost factors.

“Water connection to homes in villages in Bau and Lundu districts for example cost anywhere between RM600 to RM850 per case and is an amount quite burdensome to many rural folks.”

Therefore, Boniface said the obvious benefit in having a stand-alone gravity feed water supply system is to provide a secondary water supply system in place to allow those who cannot afford the connection fees of treated water to have access to water.

Source : @ The Borneo Post Online


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