RM4bil project will help clean up Sg Sarawak

Posted on November 12, 2011. Filed under: Water resource |

–Bernama-

The RM4 billion Kuching sewerage project is expected to improve the water quality index (WQI) of the slightly polluted Sungai Sarawak, upon completion of the first phase by next year.

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said the project would enable domestic and industrial wastes within Kuching City to be treated first before they are discharged into the Sungai Sarawak and its tributaries.

“As part of the state’s river rehabilitation programme, I am confident the oxygen content of the Sungei Sarawak can be restored gradually so that its WQI can be upgraded to the clean status of level two from the (current) level three now,” he said when officiating the national-level World Rivers Day 2011 celebrations at the Kuching Waterfront today.

He said the clean-up of Sungai Sarawak was in response to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s call to the state government to emulate the successful rehabilitation efforts to restore the dying River Thames in London, as result of toxic wastes and the dense population.

There should be concerted efforts by the relevant authorities, including the natural resources and environment ministry, as well as the local government, to clean up the rivers as a proud showcase for the people to enjoy as a place for relaxation and recreation, added Abdul Taib.

Water quality at risk

Earlier, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Douglas Uggah Embas said there were 12,187 rivers nationwide, which were the main sources of water supply although their water quantity and quality were increasingly at risk with climate change and pollution from various sources.

He said that of the 570 rivers monitored last year by the Department of Environment (JAS) for water quality, 51.4 percent were categorised as clean, 35.6 percent (moderately polluted) and 13 percent (polluted).

On the other hand, 51 rivers monitored by the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board last year, found 11 to be were categorised as clean, 30 slightly polluted and 10 polluted by industrial wastes, sewerage plants, agricultural and livestock wastes.

The ministry, through the drainage and irrigation department and JAS, have selected Sungai Miri and Sungai Bintagor here under the ‘One State One River’ programme to conserve and rehabilitate rivers and its surrounding areas.

He said Sungai Sarawak was among the four river basins selected for the Integrated River Basin Management programme to mitigate pollution and floods in the river basin.

– Bernama

 

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