‘Sarawak to improve wastewater management’

Posted on : 11 Oct 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Dr Rundi (second right) presents a token of appreciation to Abang Johari. Also seen are Liwan (right), Chang (centre) and Abdul Kadir (left). — Photo by Tan Song Wei


KUCHING: The Sarawak government has embarked on an important undertaking to provide a holistic and efficient wastewater management system for the major urban centres in the state.

Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said his ministry has developed the masterplan on wastewater management system for Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu while masterplans for smaller towns of Kota Samarahan, Sarikei and Mukah are currently being finalised.

“These masterplans serve as guidelines in our efforts to systematically develop the wastewater management system for the state. In line with these masterplans, we have embarked on the construction and commissioning of the centralised sewerage systems for Kuching, Miri and Bintulu,” he said at the opening ceremony of the 4th Borneo Water and Wastewater Exhibition and Conference 2018 (BWWEC) which was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at a leading hotel here yesterday.

He pointed out that the centralised sewerage system is capital-intensive.

“Therefore, as recommended in the masterplans, we have provided septic sludge treatment facilities as an interim measure for Kuching, Sibu and Miri to treat the sludge collected from the septic tanks and package plants.

“This septic sludge treatment facility will also be provided for other smaller towns like Betong, Sarikei, Kapit and Limbang in the near future.”

Dr Rundi also noted that unlike the water supply sector, the provision and operation of wastewater systems in the state is still in its infancy stage.

“We need to train and retain a lot of professionals and semi-professionals in this field.

“Hence, this Borneo Water and Wastewater Exhibition and Conference is important and timely as it serves as a platform to address this subject matter,” he remarked.

Organised by Malaysian Water Association (MWA) Sarawak branch and the Ministry of Utilities, this year’s BWWEC is themed ‘Smart Water Grid Through Innovation, Partnership and Digitalisation’ in cognisance of the need to adopt an integrated long-term approach in the planning and utilisation of the state’s precious water resources to ensure sustainable water use as well as effective and efficient water service delivery to meet the demand of water users.

The two-day event is attended by 265 delegates and features two keynote addresses titled ‘Sarawak: Towards a Resilient Water Supply System’ and ‘A Holistic Approach on Water Supply Management towards the Digital Age’ by Ministry of Utilities permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan and International Water director Omar Christian Thomsen.

Also present were Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) director Chang Kuet Shian who is also MWA Sarawak branch chairman and Malaysian Water Association president Datuk Abdul Kadir Mohd Din.