PUTRAJAYA: Eight dams, including the Bakun Dam in Sarawak, are damaged and could pose a threat to nearby residents and property in the event of failure, says the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.
These were the findings of an inspection by a dam safety flying squad from 2021 to 2022.
The eight dams are the Muda and Ahning Dams in Kedah, the Jor and Mahang Dams in Perak, the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam in Pahang, the Babagon Dam in Sabah, the Bakun Dam in Sarawak, and the Kenyir Dam in Terengganu.
The inspection found high sedimentation in the reservoir, damage to the instrumentation and water control equipment, seepage, damage to the integrity of the concrete structures, soil erosion as well as signs of collapse.
The cost of repair and maintenance for the eight dams, said the ministry, was estimated at RM135.82mil, adding that the dam owners would need to provide a special provision for maintenance.
“As an interim measure, the government is willing to consider providing financial support to dam owners who do not have the financial resources if there is an urgent need,” it said in a statement to Bernama yesterday.
The ministry said it planned to continue with the flying squad to inspect other dams, especially those over 50 years old.
It added that the structure and responsibilities of the flying squad would be strengthened as a permanent feature known as the Dam Technical Centre (DTC).
The flying squad is an ad hoc body coordinated by the Water Supply Division in the ministry, with members consisting of experts from various technical departments, such as the Public Works Department, the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID), Tenaga Nasional Bhd, the Muda Agricultural Development Authority, the National Water Research Institute of Malaysia and the Minerals and Geoscience Department, as well as private parties.
The ministry said the dam inspection by the flying squad used the dam safety inspection guidelines developed by DID, which was the Malaysia Dam Safety Management Guidelines.