KUCHING: When the new RM100 million water treatment plant at Sungai Krian, near Saratok, is completed in two years' time, it could help address the severity of the drought suffered by the people in the coastal areas of Kabong and Roban in the Betong division.
The water treatment capacity of the federal-funded plant is double the 12mld (million litres daily) of the Nanga Lichok plant, the only one supplying clean water to the district.
"With the completion of the plant, the coastal areas (of Saratok) will not suffer water shortages like they did in the last two years," Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said after the reappointment for the second term and swearing-in of Issek Utau and Tengku Gruna as political secretaries to the chief minister yesterday.
"The plant at (Nanga) Lichok was not capable of supplying water in the last drought (last year), so that's why we asked the Federal Government for the funds to build the new plant."
Jabu added that the drought had prompted the government to improve access to the longhouses and villages frequently hit by the dry spell so that relief assistance could be easily channelled to them.
"We are making it our priority to improve the accessibility to these longhouses and villages. When the roads are built, it will be easier to supply clean water to them."
Areas within a 16km radius of the city experienced heavy rain for several hours last night.
"The rain has slightly improved the drought situation, but we are not out of it just yet. The small amount of rain will not have any effect on the rivers, but at least it has improved the air quality."