Belaga logjam to be cleared after MCO lifted

Belaga logjam

KUCHING: Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) is making the necessary preparations to clear a logjam in Upper Belaga, Kapit Division, which occurred following the impounding of the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam.

State Transport Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the clearing works could not be carried out immediately due to the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO (CMCO) which had been imposed in the Sibu and Kapit Divisions respectively.

 “It is important to understand that the proposed river clearing activity will involve close interaction and contact between people, and this is not allowed in our efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the state,” he said in a statement today.

He said a team led by SRB with representatives from several relevant departments and Sarawak Energy Berhad conducted a visit on Dec 21 last year and eventually recommended for the river clearing activity be carried out to create a safe boat passage for the communities living in five villages in the area.

“SRB and the relevant agencies will work with the communities in the affected areas by tagging the logs, which will be spiked with iron nails and secured onto the riverbank with ropes,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman, and Datuk Liwan Lagang, who is Belaga assemblyman and state Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity, had raised the need to clear the logjam urgently to end the woes faced by the people there.

Masing said the logjam, which he claimed came from logging activities in the areas, had clogged up the upper reaches of Linau River and made the task of navigating through this river almost impossible.

“In the latest incident, six longhouses are affected by the logjam, namely Naha Nyabong, Sang Anau, Long Keboho, Naha Jalei, Long Jawe and Long Busang, and more people in the Bakun area who need to go upriver, cannot do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, Liwan said he had already appealed for urgent assistance from the government agencies for these people who had cried for help.

He said he had insufficient resources to assist them alone for such a massive clearing work. ‒ Bernama