Remote Sarawak road breaking up due to erosion

MIRI: The current wet spell in parts of Sarawak is starting to cause structural damage to rural roads in the state.

The remote Belaga-Menjawah road in northern Sarawak – built by the Defence Ministry under the Jiwa Murni concept three years ago – is breaking apart due to hillslope erosion.

Parts of the road have collapsed into the ravine because of heavy rain.

The slope failure is a result of earth movements, which in turn cause huge chunks of earth to cave in.

Native rights activist cum lawyer Abun Sui, who is a Belaga resident, sounded the alarm on Saturday.

He said half of the two-lane road had already collapsed.

“If the rain continues, soon the whole road will cave in.

“The JKR (Public Works Depart­ment) needs to take remedial measures immediately.

“In fact, in June, there were already cracks appearing, and the local people had voiced their worries to the Belaga authorities,” he told The Star.

The 60km road cost was about RM80mil.

Abun, who is Hulu Rejang PKR branch chief, said the road was supposed to be repaired last year.

“I hope the state government will initiate the repair now,” he said.

The Belaga-Menjawah road is the only land link to the outside world for about 10,000 interior folk.

It connects the Menjawah sub-district to the Belaga township and onwards to Bakun and Bintulu.