21st April, 2017
By JAMES LEONG
SANDAKAN: The Public Works Department (JKR) here requires additional funds of nearly RM 5.5 million to carry out repair on 15 sewage pump stations, 9 sewerage treatment plants, and sewer lines in the district.
The Sandakan JKR has been allocated RM 3.9 million to undertake projects to repair the sewage system in several areas of Sandakan but additional funding is needed for other repairs and maintenance works on the 94 sewage facilities, Deputy Chief Minister cum State Industrial Development Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said on Thursday.
Tan said he would discuss with the relevant Minister and the State JKR director to allocate sufficient funds for JKR Sandakan to replace faulty components or parts for the sewage system to function efficiently.
However, the local folks have a role to play to reduce the problem because they have a responsibility to ensure they do not clog up the sewage by refraining from dumping indiscriminately into it (sewage system). Such irresponsible attitude resulted in the incurrence of high cost for the maintenance of our sewage system, Tan said.
Tan suggested for JKR and Sandakan Municipal Council (MPS) to hold more campaigns on public awareness on the issue in residential/ housing areas and eateries. Areas with frequent blockage will be listed as “black areas” and the focus of these cleanliness drives.
Meanwhile, MPS President Datuk James Wong said some of the waste materials that were removed from the sewage system included baskets and clothes.
“MPS will extend its cooperation to JKR Sandakan and we can provide our equipment to them. Both departments can hold meetings to discuss the problems they (JKR) are facing and they can request for our assistance when the need arises to resolve the sewage blockage in Sandakan,” James said.
Present during the media conference were Sekong Assemblyman Datuk Samsudin Yahya, Tanjung Papat Community Development Leader Wong Chee Keat, Elopura Community Development Leader Chan Tzun Hei, MPS councilors Ang Lian Hook and Ng Yat Choo.
On the District Action Council meeting chaired by Datuk James Wong at the MPS conference hall in Wisma Perbandaran on Thursday morning, Tan said JKR Sandakan district engineer Haji Shahminan Bakar gave a detailed briefing on the sewage problem in Sandakan.
“It gives us a better understanding of the sewage problem in Sandakan and how to work together towards addressing it,” Tan said.
In the briefing, Shahminan said JKR Sandakan took over the maintenance of sewerage system from MPS on 1 April 2015, which comprised of 94 facilities including 61 sewage treatment plants, 31 pump stations, 2 treatment plants with 60,000PE and a network of sewerage pipes of 128,461km.
The Sandakan JKR Sewage Unit has 18 staff and due to the increased to the workload, the department suggested to add another 10 more personnel. It is also facing a lack in equipment, Shahminan said.
According to Shahminan, based on the department’s report, 40 per cent of the complaints received were from the residential areas, 20 per cent were pump stations, 19 per cent were restaurants, 12 per cent were general business and another 9 % was from industrial manufacturers.
In the process of dealing with the sewerage system and the manhole blockage problem, JKR Sandakan found that one of the main causes of the blockage was indiscriminate dumping into the manholes and also vandalism, Shahminan said.