KOTA KINABALU: The state government is in the final stages of its feasibility studies on the proposed controversial Kaiduan dam, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Pairin, who is also state Infrastructure Development Minister, said during a dialogue session with villagers Wednesday that feedback from the public is still being gathered on the project.
“Once the technical issues and other matters are settled, the project structure will be forwarded to the state cabinet and it will decide whether to go ahead with construction of the dam,” he said.
He said the proposed dam, which will benefit residents in Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Papar and their surrounding areas, is not to make life difficult for the people, but to solve their problems.
Pairin said according to various studies, Sabah will not have enough clean water supply by 2022, and the Kaiduan dam will be able to sustain supply up to 2050 and beyond.
During the half-day dialogue, representatives from the affected villages, including Kg Terian, Kg Buayan, Timpayasah, Tiku and Kg Babagon Laut, voiced their disapproval of the project.
They said many villagers were absent from the dialogue because they had made up their mind not to support the project.
Most of the villagers also asked about the urgency of the project, and urged the state government to find alternatives to the proposed dam, such as making use of and improving existing water catchments.
Issues on pollution, the integrity of the Sabah Water Department as well as compensation for those asked to move out from their homes were also raised during the dialogue.