Dr Rundi: State govt spent over RM6 bln to ensure S’wakians have access to treated water supply

Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom

KUCHING (March 22): The state government has spent over RM6 billion towards making sure that Sarawakians in both urban and rural areas have access to treated water supply, said Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

Dr Rundi said RM4 billion has been spent for the state’s Water Supply Grid Masterplan while another RM2.2 billion has been spent for stressed water areas across Sarawak.

“The chief minister has provided sufficient financing for us. By 2030, we should be able to cover all Sarawak,” he said when met by journalists after launching the Kuching Water Board’s (KWB) Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan 2021-2025 at a hotel here today.

In Kuching alone, Dr Rundi said 99 per cent of the division has access to treated water supply.

He said the government could not say a 100 per cent treated water supply for Kuching because the city still has squatters.

“But in towns, the percentage is more than 99 per cent. However, in rural areas the total coverage is 87 per cent, of people having treated water.”

Dr Rundi said the state government has put in place the Sarawak Alternative Water Supply System to provide water, which is safe for consumption in areas that are yet to be connected to the grid.

Once the road access is provided later, he said the state government through his ministry would be able to do piping to connect more households to the grid.

“That requires also booster pump and so forth, it’s all on our planning, we have the grid masterplan and should be able to supply treated water to more.”

In the past, he said the Public Works Department (JKR) took care of the rural water supply in the state.

He added that a lot of water projects could not be implemented due to a lack of funding from the federal government.

“It’s not that they don’t want to plan but the funding was lacking. But the state government is supportive and that’s why we formed JBALB (Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department), dedicated to providing water supply to rural areas,” said Dr Rundi.

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