Rajang River crisis: NREB must answer


Sarawak Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit has admitted that the impoundment of the Bakun Dam had adversely affected the livelihood of the people downstream and the tourism industry.

“Because of the shallowness of the river, some of them lose their jobs as tourist guides and have to chop firewood for a living because there are no more tourists coming after the water level has dropped,” the Borneo Post quoted him as saying. Ironically Dawos is the former environment adviser for the Bakun Dam project.

The authorities must now release the Environmental Impact Assessment report. Let’s have a look at the conditions of approval.

Tell us what monitoring has been done, and what the results are and where they can be found.

The Natural Resources and Environmental Board Sarawak – under Chief Minister Taib Mahmud – is tasked with approving EIAs. But what has happened after approval? Have they forgotten about monitoring and enforcement?

Dawos’ remarks about this huge ecological disaster is proof enough of how lame the NREB is. Idris Jala and the government should make good on their GTP and NKRAs and what-not. Talk is fine, but here’s a case staring them in the face and what’s being done?

One source said he heard the Balui water level was so low that the flow from the Belaga river at the mouth went right across the Balui, and that’s about 30 metres. So with the drying up of the Rajang and Balui, fish stocks are being destroyed — and with little likelihood of renewal from above Bakun because of the dam.

Meanwhile, the water level at the dam reached 117 metres of the targeted 195 metres a week ago, the Borneo Post later reported.

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With gerakan/umno’s M, which project can be disapproved? Otherwise we will see the JB crooked bridge instructed by the crooks .

Ong Eu Soon

Anil, why you need the EIA? Isn’t it sufficient to tell from the disaster that the project should not be approved in the first place? Now is the time to force the government to release water to relieve the problem at the downstream communities. This is an environmental disaster that we can’t afford.