More time needed to overcome UMS water woes, says Zambry

KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah's (UMS) long-standing water shortage may take longer to resolve owing to ongoing supply problems in the state, says Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

He said for one thing, insufficient supply from the Sabah Water Department resulted in low pressure that hindered distribution to the campus.

Zambry said non-revenue water (NRW) lost from pipes outside the campus also affected the supply.

ALSO READ: UMS water supply issues set to end

He said the state government and Water Department are working to ensure that supply to the campus and its surroundings is normalised.

"We discussed the necessary action to be taken as soon as possible with the state government and the department to meet the water needs of UMS," he said on Sunday (April 21) after a surprise visit to the campus the day before.

He was accompanied by the Prime Minister's senior political secretary Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.

Zambry noted that rapid development in UMS and the under-construction Hospital UMS made it imperative for the water woes to be resolved.

ALSO READ: Sabah Water Dept pushing hard to meet UMS’ demands, says Shahelmey

"The state Water Department must ensure that supply is... sufficient for the long term," he added.

The campus has been affected by the water shortage for over a year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had previously approved an allocation of RM3mil to solve the water crisis at the campus and an additional RM2mil was approved by Zambry.

Zambry said that for the time being, UMS had installed nine tube wells that can supply up to one million litres per day (MLD), but it was not enough as the daily demand was 5MLD.

Zambry also visited a reservoir that channels water to UMS and the Sepanggar area.

ALSO READ: Sabah Water Dept gives supply commitment to UMS

He said supply to the reservoir was irregular while low pressure from the large tank could not properly be pumped to the surrounding pipes.

He said a second large tank is being constructed for water to be supplied directly to UMS.

"God willing, when completed, it will be possible to see an increase in water supply to the university as currently the Water Department is limiting the amount supplied," he added.

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