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Ensuring sustainable, resilient development

Rokiah Mahmud

Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar deliberated planning, measures and initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Development (MoD) towards ensuring the country’s sustainability and resilient development are assured.

At the 18th Legislative Council Meeting session yesterday, the minister deliberated that as part of the effort in providing a more sustainable national housing, the Housing Development Department under the MoD will carry out plans in building national housing schemes either through National Development Plan (RKN) or using alternatives that lessen full reliance on
government expenditure.

According to the minister, under the RKN 11, BND38.8 million with a cost plan of BND250 million was allocated to allow the ministry to continue housing projects including 1,000 units of terrace house at Kampong Lugu National Housing Scheme; and 750 houses at Kampong Tanah Jambu National Housing Scheme Project starting in the middle of this year. Meanwhile, 245 out of 300 units (10 blocks) of H40 apartments in Kampong Lambak have been occupied.

On infrastructure, the Public Works Department (JKR) has been entrusted to carry out responsibilities in providing and implementing infrastructure development plans, public facilities such as roads, drainage and sewerage, that are more sustainable and resilient, and water supply that are more reliable and adequate.

He said the ministry is aware of water interruptions at certain areas, especially in Brunei-Muara District, and that the government will address the situation immediately.

The minister said over the years, the raw water quality in Sungai Tutong has been inconsistent, often turning murky. According to investigations by the Department of Water Service, the change in water quality is due to prolonged rainfalls, causing organic materials and soil to flow downstream through surface-runoff.

Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

“Due to the situation, the water filtration is clogged and needs to undergo a flushing process, causing low water supply, requiring more intensive treatment than usual.

“This has led to water interruption in areas such as Kampong Lumapas, Lambak Kanan Housing Scheme and Kampong Subok.

“Efforts to address the issues have been implemented by JKR, by repairing water assets at Bukit Barun Water Treatment Plant. However, the department encountered continuous issues as the plant is over 30 years old and is unable to clean raw water containing high organic materials efficiently and needs to be replaced,” the minister added.

In attaining water security, the MoD has prepared a framework through Brunei Darussalam towards Water Security 2021-2035 that details strategies on ensuring a continuous clean water supply.

The strategy framework not only serves as a roadmap in the next plan of action, but is also a reference for entrepreneurs locally and internationally in formulating investment planning strategies on water supply in the Sultanate.

On flood mitigation, the ministry through the Department of Drainage and Sewerage will take holistic measures and strategies in providing sustainable drainage system.

On road infrastructure, the MoD through the Department Of Roads will conduct construction and maintenance works as well as improvement to highways, main roads, intersections, roads leading to national housing areas, STKRJ and district and village roads.

In efforts to provide road communication system facilities that are safe while ensuring efficient movement in the areas concerned, a total of 25 road junctions as well as four district and village roads have completed construction.

To support the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy, throughout 2021, the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change plays an active role in jointly shaping the country’s direction towards a low carbon economy and attain climate resilience, the minister said.

Among the new initiatives that will be introduced this year are the launch of food and beverage green protocol for canteen services and food preparations; develop an institutional framework for the domestic carbon trading; and exploring the implementation of carbon pricing.


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