Dry spell a double blow as Sarawak peat fires damage water pipes


KUCHING (Aug 14): Sarawak’s water supply, already affected by the current dry spell, has now been made worse after forest and peat soil fires in several parts of the state damaged water pipes.  

Sarawak’s Ministry of Utilities said the fires in Mukah District have disrupted water supply to Kampung Penipah, Kampung Tekajong and Kampung Bruit, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB).

“The underground peat soil fires burnt some stretches of the HDPE (a type of flexible plastic pipe used for fluid and gas transfer) pipeline, causing severe leakages. JBALB staff are not able to access the site to determine the extent of damage or undertake repair works, due to thick smoke and heat from the fire,” the ministry said in a statement here yesterday. 

Meanwhile, in Sri Aman district, water production has reduced due to low water levels. 

“The current water level at the Bayai Water Intake is critical. JBALB is carrying out dredging works at the water intake areas to alleviate the low water production, and the water levels will be monitored closely. 

“JBALB has issued early notice of the prolonged dry spell that could potentially affect water supply to consumers in Sri Aman district,” the statement read. 

During the dry spell period, water tankers will be on standby and ready to deliver supply to the affected areas. as an immediate measure. 

Consumers are also urged to conserve water, the statement read further. 

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