Dr George Chan, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister

Dr George Chan, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister

The Sarawak government spent RM2.2 million to supply water to 60,000 people of 14,000 households in 312 areas in the state hit by the drought over the last three weeks, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said Tuesday.

Dr Chan, who is also state disaster and relief management committee chairman, said the residents (chief administrative officers) of all the 11 divisions were asked to be on high alert after a respite from the dry spell and haze due to cloud-seeding operations and the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot in many parts of the state this week.

“As far as we know, the dry spell will last until mid-September and the residents are asked to ensure that our people who need water get their supply as soon as possible and enlist the help of the private sector and other agencies, including the army and navy, for transportation besides the Public Works Department,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting with the relevant agencies and departments at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya, here.

He said the government might consider water rationing for a few hours if no rain, including from cloud-seeding operations, occurred in the water catchment areas.

Due to the respite, he said, the air pollutants index (API) readings had improved with only Sibu recording an API of 113 today compared to six places with API readings of over 100, which is classified as an unhealthy level, yesterday. — BERNAMA