Sibu Water Board plans cover water needs until 2036, says Sarawak minister

SIBU: The Sibu Water Board has a long-term plan to overcome frequent supply interruptions, contrary to claims by certain quarters, says Sarawak's Utilities and Telecommunications Minister.

"Regrettably, certain parties seem to be 'ignorant' of development plans for water supply projects that I often share," Datuk Seri Julaihi Narawi said here on Monday (June 24).

"This baseless accusation has resulted in a bad perception among the public," he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Salim water treatment plant project here.

He stressed that his ministry always strived to implement every project that was planned to address the proper supply of utilities to the people.

ALSO READ: Tiong slams Sibu Water Board over years of water cuts

Julaihi added that the Sarawak Water Supply and Water Grid Master Plan 2021 covered the development of water supply in the state for the period from 2025 to 2070.

"This Master Plan aims to develop a water grid system that includes developing raw water source, treatment and distribution that will connect all the main plants across Sarawak to form a continuous water grid," he said.

On the Salim project, he said the RM300mil plant upgrade would increase water production capacity from 150 million litres daily (MLD) to 300MLD.

He added that the Sarawak government decided to fully finance the construction of the project, including site supervision and land reclamation costs.

"If we (only relied on) Federal Government financing, this project could not start this year because it needs to go through a long procedure (that) will delay the implementation," he said.

When completed in 2026, the upgraded plant is expected to meet growing demand in Sibu division, also covering Kanowit, Selangau, Maradong, Rassau, Machan, Nibong Tada and surrounding areas until 2036.

Sibu Water Board's current capacity is about 195MLD, comprising 150MLD from the Salim plant and 45MLD from Bukit Lima.

On Friday (June 21), Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing slammed the board for lacking long-term planning and demanded that it issue an apology for the frequent supply interruptions.

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