Salty water monitoring on Sabah’s supply

KOTA KINABALU: The state health authority is closely monitoring the water supply statewide after the salty water issue on the east coast of the Sandakan district.

State health director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said samples from water pipes in various districts were being taken and tested weekly for chemical properties or other possible contamination.

While the results of these tests were still pending, she added that no contamination cases had been reported in districts other than Sandakan.

“We will continue to monitor the water supply to ensure the safety of all Sabahans,” she said.

Dr Rose advised the public to consume tap water only after boiling it, adding that people should refrain from drinking dirty water.

On March 7, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya said the Sabah Water Department was looking at resolving the issue within a month.

Shahelmey, the state Works Minister, said a special team had been tasked with resolving the problem that was triggered after seawater infiltrated the Segaliud river water intake point late last November.

The Sandakan salty water issue has been the bane of residents in the district, prompting calls from Sandakan MP Vivian Wong and Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong for the Sabah Water Department director to step down.

It was reported earlier that the gate at the Segaliud River had been damaged, allowing seawater to infiltrate the holding dam in the area. This resulted in an unusually high salinity level in the local water supply.

The Sandakan Water Department lodged a police report in December last year after discovering that the river gate was damaged and cables were stolen at the Segaliud River.

They are waiting for the replacement parts that had been ordered from overseas.

On a separate issue, Dr Rose said the Health Ministry would continue to upgrade hospitals throughout Sabah, with the process having already started with the Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan and the Tawau Hospital.

She said the upgrades were in progress to elevate their levels to those of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the state capital.

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