Residents upset at water disruption

National 4 minutes, 28 seconds


RESIDENTS from three villages in the district are demanding the Public Works Department (PWD) provide an explanation on the constant water disruption in their areas.

Several areas in Tutong and Brunei-Muara districts experienced low and no water supply last October 15 and 16.

PWD in a previous statement had attributed the water disruption to water treatment works in water treatment plant, as well as the installation of pipes at the Bukit Barun level 7 water reservoir.

However, the public are still not satisfied with the reasons provided, with some complaining that they did not receive any notice prior to the water disruption.

A resident at Kg Sg Tilong, Hj Ibrahim Abd Kahir said that he has been experiencing shortage to no water supply for at least twice a week.

“Every month, there’s always no water. My neighbours and I have begun to regard this matter as normal. We don’t know how to file the complaint. If I want to write a letter to the Ministry of Development, will they respond to my query?

“Those who live here will understand this,” said Hj Ibrahim, who has been living in Kg Sg Tilong since 1974.

He shared that whenever there is no water supply, his family would usually experience delay in getting to work and school. His grandchildren have always been late to school because of the inconvenience, especially when there was no prior notice of water disruption from the authority.

“We have to drive to nearby mosque to take showers,” he added.

Hj Ibrahim suggested that the department provide at least a week’s notice so that residents in the affected areas can make early preparation.

Another Kg Sg Tilong resident, Pg Hjh Maimon Pg Paduka Dewa Pg Hj Momin, expressed concern about the low water pressure at her house that is located on a hill. She has been living at the village for 33 years, and her family experiences no water supply at least twice in a month.

“There was no water supply yesterday. I’m used to it,” she said.

She raised another issue regarding water bill payment. According to Pg Hjh Maimon, her monthly water bill is between $35 and $50, and she considers this to be expensive when compared to the family’s actual water usage.

One of her sons, who is living at Kg Tanjong Nangka, only pays a monthly water bill of $5.

“What I understand is that, because my house is on a hill, it requires more air pressure to pump the water up. But it doesn’t make sense to pay such an amount because the cost is equivalent to someone who has a carwash business,” she added.

Another resident at Kg Pulaie, Sariman Kumin, complained about the lack of water supply at Pulaie Mosque.

“I work at Pulaie Mosque as a labourer. Most of the times, congregants find it difficult to take ablution because of the problem (no water). The imam has informed the matter to the relevant authorities, however, there seems to be no response,” said Sariman.

He further said that the residents in Kg Pulaie are reliant on the water tank at the mosque which is used to collect and store rain water for ablution. “But when there is not enough rain, congregants have to perform prayers at other mosques,” he explained.

Sariman shared his experience of filing the complaint to Department of Water Services in the past. The response has been unhelpful because when he phoned the department, the person would transfer him to other departments which would deny responsibility.

He also shared that there are residents who use the mosque’s toilet to take a bath or shower when there is water disruption at their residences.

“We can’t do anything. We can’t just say no to those residents who wanted clean water,” said Sariman.

A resident at Kg Manggis, who wished to be anonymous because he is still working with the government, said that no water supply and low water pressure has been a going on since 1997.

His house accommodates more than 13 family members. They have to take their shower in the ground floor because the of low water pressure.

“I think the reason for the problem is due to the growing population in the area,” said the pensioner. “Or is it because there is no water tank in Kg Manggis?”

He wanted to know why there is no water tank supply specifically for the residents of Kg Manggis.

“There are around 6,000 to 8,000 residents here from rough estimation. I think the water we get is from the fragments of the water from Kg Lambak Kanan,” he said.

Meanwhile, DQ Supervisor, Jocel Lasmarias, who has been working at the Kg Sg Tilong branch for six years, said that the problem of water disruption occurred more than 10 times a month.

“Sometimes, there is no water upstairs,” she said, adding that the company has 12 staff members.

An employee of Pizza Hut branch in Kg Sg Tilong, Ralph Rongavilla said the company resorted to installing their own water tanks behind the building to provide water supply for more than 10 house staff members living upstairs.

“It is a hassle to use the bucket instead of the hose to take a shower. But what can we do?”

When approached by The Brunei Times yesterday, the Public Works Department and Department of Water Services were not available for comment.

The Brunei Times