Things may be looking up for families in Sarawak

JOHOR BARU - Rain falling in the right places has improved the water situation in most places in Johor and things may be looking up for 900 families in Sarawak who are reeling from the drought because the rain barely hits their villages.

Johor State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamad said the scheduled water supply for Mersing, Sedili and Kluang had been lifted following steady rainfall and increased water levels at the rivers and dams in the area.

“We are now focusing on a preventive approach and are closely monitoring the degree in water reduction or increase in our dams and treatment plants here so that we can take pre-emptive measures,” he said.

Hasni added that all the dams in the state were no longer at the critical level but the state was closely monitoring the Sayong dam in Kulai.

Scheduled water supply like the rationing in Selangor was initiated when the water levels at the treatment plant in Sembrong Timur, Kluang here dipped to critical levels on Feb 18.

In Kuching, the Meteorological Department said the people could expect some isolated thunderstorms and/or isolated showers in the afternoon or evening throughout Sarawak in the coming weeks as the country experienced the inter-monsoon season from now until early May.

The continuing two-month long dry spell in Pulau Bruit in Daro District has prevented the locals from carrying out their daily routines, including farming.

“It has been a period of suffering for us, having to make do with very little water,” said Masjid Kampung Bruit Committee chairman Mohd Adenan Zulkifli.

“The level in the reservoir has not only fallen, but the water has turned green, meaning that it is no longer safe for household use.”

Villagers would queue up for hours to fill up their jerry cans at Kampung Bruit Water Desalination Plant, he said.

It rained in the district last week, but only briefly and the villagers were not able to collect the rainwater, Mohd Adenan said.

The drought has affected over 900 families in Kampung Bruit, Tekajong, Penipah, Salah Kecil, Betanak, Penibong, Penuai, Sebako and Sedik.

While Pulau Bruit is facing water shortage because of little rain, other parts of Sarawak continue to have isolated thunderstorms every day and treated water supply remains abundant.