Efforts to enhance water management capacity

Harden (second right) and other participants give a thumbs-up for the cleaned-up Sungai Sabu.

SIMANGGANG: Many efforts have been undertaken by the federal and Sarawak governments to enhance the capacity of water management, said Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis.

He said this measure was expected to mobilise initiatives with regard to catchment area conservation and water resource management.

“Among the approaches being taken is developing a water balance system through the Water Balance Development Programme for National Water Resources Management.

“In Sarawak, studies are being conducted for the Similajau River basin in Bintulu. Aside from that, integrated river basin management is also an important step to enhance capacity in water management,” he pointed out.

Harden said this when officiating at the River Cleaning Gotong-Royong Programme held in conjunction with World Water Day 2021, organised by Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Sri Aman Division at Kampung Sabu here on Saturday.

He said in Sri Aman, there were more than 50 major rivers and tributaries with a length of over 500km and this was a big challenge especially for DID to ensure that all these rivers functioned efficiently.

He said the programme held was aimed at increasing community awareness on the importance of taking care of rivers.

“We may not be continuously cleaning the rivers directly, but we can contribute by not dumping rubbish into them,” said Harden, who is also Simanggang assemblyman.

He said in Sarawak, the climate and sufficient water quantities allowed agriculture to be a major contributor of income in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“We can also generate electricity through the construction of hydro dams such as those in Batang Ai, Bakun, Murum, and Baleh,” said the Simanggang assemblyman.

The purpose of the programme was to encourage the people to appreciate the cleanliness and beauty of the rivers around them. During the programme, efforts were made to clean up Sungai Sabu.

World Water Day is celebrated every year on Mar 22 as a symbol of how important water is to life on Earth. 

Also present were Sri Aman district officer Mohd Ashree Wee, DID Sri Aman divisional engineer Ir Faizul Abdul Wahab, other representatives and community leaders.

Harden (second right) and other participants cleaning up Sungai Sabu.