50 years on and Kanowit folk still face daily water pressure woes

The bustling centre of Kanowit town where residents still struggle with low water pressure. — filepic

SIBU: Since as long ago as the 1960s, Kanowit residents have been experiencing low water pressure in their homes. The situation is only getting worse as the area’s population has increased fivefold to 32,000 since then.

Kanowit PKR publicity chief Dawi Abon blamed the area’s MP and two assemblymen for their “tidak apa” (lackadaisical) attitude in not putting serious efforts to solve the problem.

“Complains have been made many times but the problem remains. It shows they are not serious in looking into it,” a dejected Dawi said at a press conference.

Dawi said the town still has the same water reservoir that was only capable of serving the small population in the 1960s.

“As the population increases, the number of housing estates have also increased. With that, the water pressure problem is getting more serious and urgent attention is needed,” he said.

Most places at the outskirts of town do not have treated water despite the piping system.

“The water piping system has been extended to Rumah Awin in Sungai Mapai and SK Nanga Balingiau, for example, but the taps are always dry.” he explained.

Most residents in town, he said, harvested rain water not only because of the low pressure.

In the outskirts, the people have to collect water from streams that are sometimes polluted due to chemicals from oil palm plantations.

Kanowit PKR chairman Thomas Laja said the people’s representatives “are only in name because they have failed to carry out their responsibilities”.

Meanwhile resident Mike Henry confirmed that low water pressure was an everyday occurrence in the town.

“During peak hours, the pressure is so low that we only have drips of water from the tap,” he said.

Mike said his brother resorted to buying a water pressure booster to increase the pressure to his home.

A civil servant who declined to be named said he had to be very thrifty with water due to the shortage.

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