Melaka water supply disruption 'not a crisis', says exco

Melaka Public Works, Transport and Public Amenities exco Datuk Mohd Sofi Abdul Wahab said the low water supply in dams and retention ponds is due to the drought season and that the state government is taking steps to ensure that everyone gets water. — Picture by KE Ooi
Melaka Public Works, Transport and Public Amenities exco Datuk Mohd Sofi Abdul Wahab said the low water supply in dams and retention ponds is due to the drought season and that the state government is taking steps to ensure that everyone gets water. — Picture by KE Ooi

MELAKA, Sept 17 — The disruption in water supply in the state caused by the low level of water in the dams and water retention ponds is not a crisis and there are no plans for water rationing now, said Melaka Public Works, Transport and Public Amenities exco Datuk Mohd Sofi Abdul Wahab.

He said there are 12 areas facing water disruption, with nine in Melaka Tengah and three in Jasin. However, the Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB) with the help of various parties including water operators in other states, had ensured that the residents obtained their water supply from tanker lorries.

“The low water supply (in dams and retention ponds) is due to the drought season we are facing now and we are taking steps to ensure that everyone gets water. We do not see it as a crisis as at present, everyone is getting water supply.

“How it is being done (providing water supply) may be different, through tanker lorries and such, but we can provide water. Thank you to all parties, including the opposition for giving their views, but it is up to the people to assess if there is a crisis or not,” he said in a press conference held here today.

Opposition leader in the State Legislative Assembly Datuk Seri Idris Haron was reported today to have said there was a water crisis in Melaka since Sept 8, which he alleged was the worse case of water management in the history of the state.

Last Saturday (September 14), Chief Minister Adly Zahari was reported to have said water consumption in the state was about 600 litres a day, but due to the low water level in Sungai Melaka and the hot weather with no rain, only 550 million litres could be supplied.

Mohd Sofi said to resolve the problem, the state government and relevant agencies including SAMB had obtained raw water supply from Negri Sembilan and Johor to make up for the shortage in supply.

“At present, 14 tanker lorries are obtained from water operators in various states including Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Terengganu, Pahang, Penang, Kedah, Johor and Perak, as well as from the Federal Department and Malaysian Armed Forces,” he said.

He added that the Jernih Dam in Alor Gajah near here was one of the long-term measures taken by the federal and state governments to ensure that in future, the state would no longer have a problem in water supply.

He said the change in monsoon which is expected to occur at the end of this month will hopefully bring more rain to the state, thus increasing the water level in the rivers, dams and water retention ponds here.

Mohd Sofi said the SAMB will also improve the dissemination of notices for disruption in water supply by using various social media platform especially Whatsapp and not just post the notices on Facebook. — Bernama

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