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Abang Johari: Riverwall to be built at Simunjan to halt erosion
Posted on : 11 Mar 2021  Source of News: The Borneopost online
 

Abang Johari (second left) points out the site of the erosion. Also in the photo are (from left) Nancy, Abdul Karim and Jaul. Photo by Penerangan

SIMUNJAN (March 10): The Sarawak state government will build a riverwall to stop further erosion at Simunjan town and its surrounding areas, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today.

He told reporters here today that the project is estimated to cost between RM80 million to RM100 million.

He also said the construction may start next year after studies including hydrology study and soil study has been completed as well as to identify the type of technology to be used.

Although there were previous projects implemented using federal funds to counter the erosion problem, he pointed out it was not done thoroughly and did not solve the issue.

“It (the cost involved) is quite substantial. This is because we have to do ‘boring’ (a type of construction technique). Previously, there were four projects worth RM59 million but it was not very thorough work.

“This time, we have to do scientific research. I want to do (solve the erosion problem) this once and for all. At the same time, we can turn this (area around the riverwall) into a waterfront (to attract visitors),” he said after visiting the site of the erosion in Simunjan today.

Abang Johari was earlier briefed by various agencies on the ongoing development for Simunjan and Gedong.

Joining him were state Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, as well as Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (also federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture) and elected representatives from the area.

Although there was a previous attempt to stop the erosion, he said this was not successful due to few reasons including the peat soil condition and how the project was not carried out according to technical needs.

On the new project, he said it will measure around 500 meters from one end of Simunjan town to Kampung Sageng.

“The people here said there used to be a football field, but it is now no longer around due to erosion. There are forces of water from two sides (which caused the erosion). That is why have to have a very strong waterwall,” he said.

When the riverwall is completed, he said he foresees a brighter future for Simunjan, which is located along the coastal road network.

He also said there will be a good road network connecting Simunjan to Samarahan, Gedong and Serian which will bring more visitors as well as facilitate the movement of agriculture produce from Simunjan.

“New areas will be opened for agriculture. We will have internet facilities, to enable the people, especially young entrepreneurs, to participate in smart agriculture.

“Talking about peat soil, depending on the profile some are good for planting of corn, some for pineapple planting, and other commodities. Simunjan can be part of a food belt network,” he said.

On a related matter, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government is also funding the construction of retaining wall projects at Tambirat, Asajaya and in Sebuyau.

The retaining wall at Tambirat is estimated to cost almost RM80 million and the one in Sebuyau is estimated to cost RM350 million.

“What delayed us before was ‘nadai bisi duit’ (no funding). So now, we are on our own. Previously, the projects were borne by federal government,” he said.

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