Projects underway this year to tackle water supply problems

|     Azlan Othman     |

MANY projects to enhance water supply to homes in the country are being implemented this year in an effort to tackle the water shortage problem, Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar said at the 15th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday.

The nation has the highest rate of water consumption in the region, with each person using up to 380 litres – or 253 bottles – per day.

The minister was responding to the issue of water supply and water supply interruption, including the replacement of old pipes, raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Haji Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Haji Sabtu on the eighth day of the LegCo meeting.

The issues of water supply infrastructure management and water disruptions were also brought up.

Addressing these matters, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi highlighted that Qualified Persons (QP) who develop private land for houses built at higher ground should forward a plan layout drawing for the water supply system to the areas to ensure that the supply of water to these areas is sufficient.

The QP, he added, is also required to inform developers to provide water pumps for homes at these higher-ground locations.

LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari, meanwhile, highlighted that houses situated on higher ground are only able to get water at midnight.

Responding to this problem, the minister said, “[The ministry is] monitoring the situation. For now a suggestion is to install water tanks at the affected areas.”

On the suggestion by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu for the water supply for Brunei-Muara District residents to be sourced from the Temburong District once the Temburong Bridge is completed, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi said there is a plan to analyse such a proposal, and it is still under review.

With regard to developers who built small culverts at the main drainage systems, causing flashfloods, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi said, “These culverts can be replaced. It is the role of the QP or developer to apply for the approvals beforehand to ensure an effective drainage system to avoid flashfloods. Before the land is developed, the QP or developer must forward the infrastructure drawing, including the culvert size.

“If the flood occurs due to small culverts, the village head must report the matter to the Public Works Department’s Drainage and Sewerage Department.”