In the days of yore, Sarikei had plenty of water at our three rivers (Rejang River, Sarikei River and Nyelong River) but not a drop to drink because it's salty. Water had to be drawn from the fresh water of upper Rejang River and transported by boat to the old Sarikei wharf near the current police station. The water is then pumped up into the water tank built by the Brooke administration near the current police station at Market Road. Folks had to buy water from this source and some hired coolies to transport water to their shops on a daily basis. A coolie would carry water using a bamboo pole to balance two buckets in front and two behind precariously. (Source: Reader Lidasar)
Sarikei Water Tank at Lake Garden, 2007
This practice went on until pipes were installed in the 1950s. Initially water was drawn from Jakar but during dry spells, the tap water became very salty and water had to be brought in by trucks to the current location of JKR at Jalan Siaw Ah Khoon. Town folks had to collect water using containers on a bicycle, a 3-wheeler or a 4-wheeler push cart. This went on until the Water Board changed the water source to Penghulu Eman's home base at Sungai Bayong in the 1960s. (source: Reader Lidasar)
The old water tank was a boxy metallic design on a hill at the current Lake Garden location. It's a deeper version of those water tanks at Kampung Seberang at Jalan Rentap. In the mid 1980s (?), it was replaced by this water tank (now defunct). Does anyone know where Sarikei gets its water from now and where is the water stored?
Can this water tower be converted into a viewing tower like the Civic Centre in Kuching? Your wish has been granted. Read on ...