Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mighty Rajang River too shallow

Rajang River has became too shallow for water transportation due to heavy siltation. An oil tanker from West Malaysia which supply vital oil rations to Sibu run aground and stuck in the middle of Rajang River.

The Marine department is now running an investigation into the cause of the incident. Where is Drainage and Irrigation Department ? Where is SUPP Sibu ?

The cause of the incident is very simple. Rajang River became too shallow due to heavy siltation. Siltation was caused by heavy and uncontrolled deforestation in upriver areas.

Those responsible from the deforestation upriver are mostly rich timber companies and oil palm companies. But who is going to pay for the dredging (which is approved but won't happen soon) of the Rajang River to make it deeper ? The Malaysian Government. The Rakyat. You and me.

MalaysiaKini should have an article on this matter.

Extract from TheBorneoPost

Low water causes ship to run aground

By Conny Banji

SIBU: A 4,000-tonne ship carrying oil tank from Peninsular Malaysia had to remain in the middle of Rajang River just off the second phase of Sibu Town Square - the whole of Monday night.

The vessel which sailed up from Batang Igan was said to be bound for a depot in Ding Lik Kwong early in the morning when it ran aground.

It is believed that siltation compounded by the low water level caused the hull of the vessel to scrape the river bed and get stuck.

At 11.30am yesterday (when the writer checked on it) the ship was still in the same spot.

It is said an attempt to move the ship using a tugboat was not successful.

A Marine Department spokesperson confirmed over the phone yesterday that they had been told about the case.

He also confirmed that some officers of the department had gone to check on the situation.

The department is now running an investigation into the cause of the incident.

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