Build coastal reservoirs, not inland dams, PKR veep urges Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government must seriously consider abandoning plans to build inland dams and opt for coastal reservoirs to meet the state's water needs, says PKR vice-president Awang Husaini Sahari.

Weighing in on the ongoing debate against plans to set up more water dams, Awang Husaini said the state government should give consideration to coastal reservoirs as a first option as it was more environmentally friendly.

"The coastal reservoir is a tried-and-true method for collecting rainfall by building a reservoir in the water near a river mouth," said the former Putatan MP.

He said coastal reservoirs are the best place to collect rainwater because, unlike a traditional dam that depends on precipitation, all rainwater ends up in the sea, he added.

Furthermore, the implementation of a coastal reservoir can be coupled as flood control infrastructure, floating solar farms and tourism activities, he said in a statement Tuesday (Sept 19).

He said coastal dams would be able to meet the demands for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes of the state.

"I think coastal reservoir technology could be the best solution for sustainable water supply not only in the west coast but in the whole of Sabah in line with the concept of Malaysia Madani where new ideas that are beneficial to the community and the nation in particular must be considered as well as the basis of willingness to accept change by taking into account the suggestions of all levels of society," Awang Sahari added.

He said the state should consider the opinions of water experts, geologists and academics.

Native grassroots movement representatives Diana Sipail and Jackly Likinsim as well as Kapayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang had also persistently rejected inland water dam projects that would affect the indigenous people.

Water engineers with the International Water Association (IWA) Datuk Dr Amarjit Singh and Lim Sin Poh had warned that constructing inland dams will block the river's flow that would lead to soil erosion, a biologically dead river, upsetting the region's natural equilibrium and destroying agriculture and its cultural legacy.

Both Amarjit and Lim cautioned that the construction of large dams and reservoirs had slowed down globally since the 1960s as it was becoming more difficult to construct large dams with many negative impacts.

Such inland dams would destroy river ecosystems as well as growing public opposition for new dams due to the negative economic, social and environmental impacts.

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Sabah , Coastal Reservoirs , Dams , Water ,


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