Tackling water woes effectively

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s immediate measure to alleviate the water issue following the RM320.25mil allocation from Putrajaya is to reduce non-revenue water (NRW), says Datuk Shahelmey Yahya.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the State Water Department will also carry out works to replace old pipes as well water pumps at the various water treatment plants.

He said these works would come under 20 programmes planned for nine districts, namely the state capital, Putatan, Tuaran, Papar, Beaufort, Keningau, Tawau, Lahad Datu and Sandakan.

“These 20 programmes will be implemented immediately and we expect them to be completed within six to 12 months,” he said during an event here on Friday.

Among the efforts to be carried out, he said, were to curb water theft, to put in new or fix old pipes, as well as increasing the number of pump boosters and replacing damaged water pumps.

“Hopefully, within the next six months, the people can enjoy better water supply,” he added.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that he was confident the RM320.25mil assistance would help the state implement short-term plans to solve the state’s water woes.

He said this in a statement following his meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya earlier that day.

Towards this end, Shahelmey, who is also state Works Minister, said the Sabah Water Department will manage the water distribution to consumers while construction on the Telibong II water treatment plant in Tamparuli, about 40km from here, is being carried out.

The plant, he said, would supply water to most parts of the west coast including Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and north of the southwestern Papar district.

When completed, he said, the plant will provide an additional 80 million litres of water daily to the state capital.

Shahelmey had on May 9 said the Urgent Water Supply Scheme (UWSS) project at the Telibong II treatment plant was unable to fully commence because of land issues.

He said the plant is scheduled for completion this month but pipe-laying work had yet to start.

He added that the Public Works Department and Sabah Water Department were negotiating over the right of way to lay the pipes.

Construction of the Telibong II water treatment plant is already behind schedule as it was supposed to have been completed last year.

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