MIRI (Jan 6): Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin has urged the consultant for the ongoing wave-breaker project in Kampung Batu Satu in Kuala Baram here to find a solution to resolve the problem of organic materials and debris piling up at the boat landing area.
“This problem has been going on too long. I’ve been coming here due to this so many times, but the problem is still not resolved, even after having meetings after meetings with the consultant.
“The consultant was supposed to find a solution to this. So I would like to urge the consultant to really find a workable solution so that we don’t face this problem again,” Lee said when met by reporters visiting the site today.
Also present were Kampung Batu Satu community leader KK Mohamad Yusop Sulaiman, and representatives of the project contractor and related government agencies.
Lee urged the consultant for the project to personally come to site and resolve this problem as the appointed contractor only carry out works based on what the consultant proposed.
“You cannot expect the contractor to solve the problem all by themselves. The consultant is the one that designed this project which caused this problem.
“So the consultant must come back and solve this problem as well as find a practical solution as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will affect the livelihood of fishermen here,” he said.
Lee said the wave-breaker project, which was scheduled to complete by 2024, was hampered by the piling up of organic materials and debris at the boat landing area.
“Every time the contractor goes and clears the channel for the fishermen boats to go out, it gets silted very fast – within one to two days’ time.
“They have been doing that all the while, but the problem is still not solved and the fishermen are having problems because their boats cannot go out to sea,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lee disclosed that the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) as well as the consultant of the wave-breaker project have been instructed to make another temporary channel for the boats to go out.
“For now, they (contractor) have to temporarily push (the organic materials) to one side because they are too near to the sea now. As soon as high tide, these debris can wash back to the sea and the channel will be silted out again.
“I’ve also liaised with the superintendent of the Land and Survey Department to find a place for all this organic materials to be eventually dumped in the long run, because the quantity is too much to just be pushed aside,” he said.
Lee has also instructed the contractor to immediately start with the clearing work to construct a channel for the boats to go out to sea, as soon as low tide hits the area tomorrow morning.
“They will use excavators to dig the channel so the boats can go out. At the same time, they also have to make arrangements to clear all these organic materials,” he said.
Lee disclosed that 23 fishermen in the area were affected by the problem and he wants it resolved as soon as possible, especially with the krills or ‘bubok’ season approaching in February.