Bringing uninterrupted water supply to a village of 700
By Patricia Hului
Christmas 2016 was especially blessed and joyful for the 700 residents of Kampung Stum Muda as they could finally enjoy uninterrupted water supply, thanks to iM Sarawak’s water supply project.
Before this, their water supply was frequently disrupted due to various reasons – leaking pipes, low water pressure, the dry season and heavy usage at peak periods.
Kampung Stum Muda headman Lebob Sindeh, 55, explained that festive holidays like Hari Gawai and Christmas would be particularly hard for them. “Since all our relatives return to the village at this time, the water usage increases and the water pressure drops dramatically – there were times when our pipes ran dry.”
Before the new pipes were installed, the aged joints of the main pipeline would also be dislodged during heavy rain when the dam was full.
Lebob explained it would take days for them to identify the problem, repair the damage and restore the water supply. Sometimes they had to resort to collecting water from the nearby river for their daily use.
According to him, the residents of Kampung Stum Muda had been relying on a gravity fed water system built in the 1980s, channelled through polyvinyl choride (PVC) pipes which became susceptible to leakage with time.
“We started having water disruption problems about four to five years ago,” he said. “Now, we are planning to do our own maintenance work on the pipes twice a year, in May before Gawai and in December before Christmas.”
Councillor Gom Boyat shared that the community would do its part carrying out gotong-royongs to maintain the newly installed 10km high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe which is expected to last for the next 30 years.
“Apart from replacing the pipes, we also did some upgrading work on the water catchment area, raising the dam wall to impound a higher volume of water,” Gom said.
By doing so, Gom said they managed to increase the water pressure to all households.
“This is our first Christmas without any water disruption,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Angelia Teddy said she was grateful for the project as it made daily life more convenient.
The 16-year-old student from SM Teknik Sejingkat said, “Before this, whenever our water supply was disrupted, we would go to the nearby river or other villages to get our water supply.”
“It was inconvenient because our daily routines such as cooking, doing the laundry, showering were interrupted.”
She said that there were times her parents would ask her to stay back at the boarding school because there was no water back home.
The iM Sarawak water supply project was launched at a Christmas celebration on Dec 21 by the 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council (1MSAC).
Officiated by 1MSAC chairman Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, the event was also attended by other 1MSAC members including Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Datuk Anthony Nogeh Gumbek and former Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo and Ir Irwan Zulkarnain Muhammad Hasbie.
Nogeh, who was also Mas Gading MP stated, “Water is the one of the basic necessities in life. With the uninterrupted supply of clean water, we are glad that the villagers are able to enjoy a better quality of life and good health.”
Meanwhile, Salang in his officiating speech said this project was part of iM Sarawak’s effort to provide a holistic approach in addressing the overall needs of the various communities in Sarawak.
“We carefully pick which areas we want to launch these projects. So far, we have launched more than 1,448 projects under iM Sarawak.”
iM Sarawak is a social development initiative led by 1MSAC designed to improve the quality of life various communities throughout the state.