KUCHING: Sarawakians, the rural people in particular, are fortunate that they enjoy a huge water subsidy from the state government while at the same time get treated and clean water supply directly to their homes.
Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the state government gave a subsidy of RM150 million to water consumers, whereby the rural folk received very high subsidies.
“For example, the cost of water per cubic metre in 2020 was RM1.28 and in 2021, the cost of water supply was RM1.58 per cubic metre but rural consumers are only charged 44 sen per cubic metre. Meaning, the subsidy is very high whereby 84 sen per cubic metre are given to rural Sarawakians,” he told reporters after attending a briefing by the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) at its command centre here on Monday (Feb 7).
Julaihi said the overall annual RM150 million subsidy given to consumers in the rural areas under the jurisdiction of JBLAB showed the government’s sincere concern about providing treated and clean water to the rural people.
“JBLAB has planned effectively so that water supply to the southern, central and northern regions in Sarawak is sufficient on a long-term basis for all households in Sarawak,” he added.
On the current and new challenges faced by his ministry and JBLAB, Julaihi said it was manpower shortage.
“That is our new challenge, the lack of human resources to carry out projects within the scheduled time frame.
“Nonetheless, all the projects are still being carried out.” he said.