Mini water treatment plant at longhouse launched

Abdul Rahman (4th left), Jamit (4th right) and Tuai Rumah Untat (3rd right) posing in front of the Sawas project at Rumah Untat.

KAPIT: Utilities (Water Supply) Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi     officiated at the launch of a mini water treatment plant and Sawas (Sarawak Alternative Water Supply) awareness cum education programme at Rumah Untat  Pengiran, Sungai Melipis, here on Tuesday afternoon.

Accompanying him were Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat, senior assistant director of JBALB (Rural Water Supply Department) Aaron Garing, Kapit JBALB engineer Andres Inchatekoster Anyap and Kapit JBALB water treatment plant engineer Dominic Galau.

“Sawas is a brainchild of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari  Tun Openg to provide reliable, clean water supply. 

“The mini treatment plant, which uses Australian technology and expertise, can  be constructed in a remote longhouse or village in the absence of roads and the main water pipe to ensure every Sarawakian throughout the state enjoys clean water. The sources of clean water for the households are the mountain, streams or rivers,” explained Abdul Rahman.

He added that the Sawas pioneer project commenced in 2017. Under phase 1 of the project, RM4.5 million was allocated to build three mini water treatment plants in Lubok Antu, Limbang and Rumah Untat in Kapit.

The 80,000 LPD (Litre per Day) of treated water will benefit 250 people from 18 families at Rumah Untat.

“Sarawak is the only state in the country to initiate the Sawas project since 2017.  Sawas is an on-going project to supply remote longhouses or villages with clean and reliable water. Under Phase II, some 56 mini treatment plants will be built between 2020 and 2021,” said the Assistant Minister.

“The only criterion is that the JKKKs of the longhouses must apply for it through their respected elected people’s representatives’ service centres. The application must be recommended by the local elected representatives,” he said.

Abdul Rahman said the people of Sungai Melipis had greatly benefited from the GPS government which focused on the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP).

“Previously, Melipis was considered very remote and lagging behind in terms of infrastructure. But now, it has improved by leaps and bound with the RC Range jetty, tar-sealed road, ongoing Sares (Sarawak Alternative Electricity Supply) and Sawas (Sarawak Alternative Water Supply).

“With accessible roads, land owners now can develop their land for commercial purposes to generate income and added value to their land,” he said. 

At the function, he announced a government grant of RM5,000 to the JKKK of Rumah Untat and another RM3,000 to the Parent-Teacher Association of SK Ulu Melipis.

 Jefferson also spoke at the gathering.  

Present were officials from MoU (Ministry of Utilities Sarawak), Mohd Hasfa Salleh, Mohamad Tarmidzy, contractor from Syarikat Bloom Richmark Sdn Bhd Jeffery Jong, engineer Owen Tan, administrative officer from the Kapit Resident Office Rolyn Terrance, administrative officer from Kapit District Office Robert Anyaw, Penghulu Pasang Tubah, 26 Tuai Rumah from Sungai Melipis and nearby longhouse folk.