RURAL SCHOOLS WATER SUPPLY
BY SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA
KUCHING: The state government will allocate RM9 million for repairing and upgrading of water supply for schools in rural areas.
Assistant Minister of Utilities (Water Supply), Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, said that about 50 schools statewide are involved with the development so far, and this also includes electrical supply.
According to Junaidi, the implementation of the upgrading and repairing of the infrastructure was funded through an allocation of RM1 billion by the state government, and it involves the collaboration between the State Education Department and Ministry of Education.
“Before we proceed, we would receive the lists of dilapidated schools around the state and examine the upgrade that is needed for the school.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Utilities has participated to ensure that the utility aspect is taken full attention,” he told the reporters after the handover ceremony of fund donation to the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of 18 schools under the Pantai Damai constituency here at N4 Pantai Damai Service Centre yesterday (Sept 29).
Junaidi said that until now, there are two programmes being implemented by the ministry in the state to help the people and schools have access to basic facilities.
“For water supply, it is known as the Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (Sawas) Programme, which was introduced since 2017, and focuses on supplying water to areas that are not connected to the main pipe due to distance and off-grid location.
“For electricity supply, the programme that has been implemented is the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) to improve the living standards of the people, especially in rural and inland areas,” he added.
Moreover, he stated that among the approaches that were taken are those that involve schools that are far inland and rural.
“We have suggested that the electricity and water supplies for rural areas to be implemented by the ministry for a settlement that has a school.
“If the settlement has a village or longhouse and has a school nearby, electricity and water supply programme will also be implemented in the area,” he said.
Not only that, Junaidi, who is also the Assistant Minister in Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU), also said that once the schools received the benefits from Sares and Sawas, the state government will try to upgrade health clinics in rural areas to facilitate the people.
“It is also in line with the state government’s goal, which is to supply treated water and 24-hour electricity supply to the entire household, including schools and health clinics statewide by 2025,” he said.