Brunei's Tasek Dam

I read on the internet about the recent World Water Day and the ceremony that was held at Brunei's oldest dam - the Tasek Dam. The Tasek Dam located in the heart of the capital, completed in 1964 marked a major milestone in the history of water supply in Brunei. Until then, there was no major water supply but with the Tasek Dam, it was the first main source of water supply to Pekan Brunei. The Tasek Dam was officiated by Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Saadul Khairi Waddien III on 13th February 1965.

For the World Water Day, I was told that the Tasek Dam would be open to the public until the 25th. So on Sunday, I took my wife and son to see the Tasek Dam. I have been to the Tasek Recreation Park many times in the past but I did not realise that there is this huge body of water on top of the Park. Honestly, all this while I was under the assumption that the lake where the waterfall is - is the Tasek. Tasek means Lake and any body of water, I thought this beautiful waterfall and lake is what Tasek is all about.

Obviously I was wrong when I read that the Minister also releases a school of Patin fish as well as took a ride across the water. So I decided to go and have a look and search for this lake. The Tasek Dam is up a hill about a couple of minutes off the entrance. You have to walk about 20 to 30 minutes to reach the dam. The walk up is very tiring even if you are an accomplished walker. There are also a couple of jungle treks along the way if the monotony of just walking up is too boring.

However we did reach the top and the view is beautiful and definitely worth all that sweat. I was told that this lake is about 4 km and about 50 feet deep. It holds about one million cubic meter of water.

The authorities have made a simple spout of water going up into the sky and made a number of other water pipes all for the fun of visitors. There were also a few boats but unfortunately no one was around to bring us across the lake. That would have been been fun.

In most other countries, this would have been turned into a recreation park. Perhaps the authorities can also look into that.

The Tasek Dam is one of 3 in the country. The other two are Mengkabau and Benutan dams. There are two others under construction - one is the Tutong Dam and the other is the Kargu Dam in Kuala Belait both expected to be operational in 2009 and will be more than sufficient for the need of the country until about 2025.

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