Media Statement by Chiew Chin Sing, Chairman DAP Bintulu Branch ,DAP Sarawak Deputy Chairman and Sarawak State Assemblyman for Kidurong on17th August, 2009
The Sarawak State Assemblyman for Kidurong Chiew Chin Sing urged the government to rethink and to come up with new ways of water supply for the rural areas.
Chiew said that the old ways of supplying one 400 gallon water tank per family is not enough anymore these days. It was alright during the old days when longhouses and kampong folks could still do their washing and bathing in the stream or river near their houses.
But today the rivers are all dirty and polluted with the opening up of the palm oil plantations. You cannot use the stream or river water anymore especially during the dry season when the water run lows. Parts of the stream had dried up leaving only a pond of dead water for one to do washing and bathing. And that is bad, as the water could be contaminated.
That is why these days the rural folks need more water tanks for maximum drinking water storage. Having more water tanks, two or three, is not a luxury but a necessity.
Even the heaviest of all down pour the last two days is not going to help drinking water supply in the longhouse because there is just not enough tanks to collect all the precious rain water, in fact much of rain water is not collected and go to waste. And if a prolong dry spell strike again, the one tank of drinking water will run out in no time.
Apart from harvesting rain water, It is high time that underground water should be exploited. Not many rural folks have well or pump and access to underground water and even if some have, they are not in working condition.
Designated water catchments areas had been and still is a popular mean of water supply to the rural areas but more and more encroachments into these areas are happening because of land development, resulting in poor water supply for the rural folks. As a result, rural folks are going back to square one again relying on harvesting the rain water.
With the expansion of the road next works many rural areas are accessible by roads and those near the water treatment plant area must be supplied with treated pipe water. Yet there are so many areas beyond the twenty mile radius up to this day, since Merdeka, the government could still not provide them with treated pipe water.
Chiew Chin Sing.