KOTA KINABALU: At least 79 district level committees are to be set up in Sabah to oversee the management of catchment areas in the state, Chief Minister Datuk Chong Kah Kiat said yesterday.
Launching the district catchment management committees for the Padas region in the interior Tambunan district, he said the setting up of such panels would ensure a sustainable and integrated approach in the management of catchment areas.
This was because the committees would comprise representatives from relevant government agencies and the main stakeholders at the various districts, Chong added.
The first catchment management committees comprise Tambunan, Keningau, Tenom and Sipitang.
''It is very likely that the Padas River Basin will be known in the future as the cradle of integrated catchment management in Sabah,'' Chong said.
He said efforts were now underway to develop computerised management information systems for the respective committees.
Chong said these systems would allow combined information of technical agencies to be at the fingertips of managers and decision-makers in the district committees.
''This will enable integrated catchment planning to become a daily routine and a useful management tool for sustainable management of our water and other resources,'' he added.
Chong said the state was also setting up the Sabah Water Resources Council and appointing the Drainage and Irrigation Department to carry out the functions of water resources management as provided for in the Water Resources Enactment 1998.