Dam will affect only 110 families, not 11 villages


PENAMPANG: Only 110 families would be affected by the construction of the Kaiduan Dam, said Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

“Some of the villagers living near the river would not be affected,” he said when updating reporters on the Kaiduan Dam issue.

Pairin, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said that those against the project have given it a wrong depiction. An incorrect portrayal given by those opposing the dam construction was that a total of 11 villages would be affected.

“That is not true. Only 110 families would be affected,”he clarified.

He added that the government was sincere in its effort to help the people. He also said that although he had not met with the families affected, he hoped the right information would be disseminated to them.

“We plan to have a dialogue with them … we are already making plans for it,” he said.

He reminded that the Kaiduan Dam was crucial to address the growing need for water due to population growth in Sabah. He said that based on calculations made, Sabah would face water shortage by 2030 if nothing is done now.

“The Babagon Dam will not be sufficient.”

Pairin also said that studies were made on several districts and Kaiduan was selected as the best place to construct the dam because it has a big catchment area and would be supplying water from Tuaran right up to Papar.

“More than a million people will be using that water so it is only sensible that we do that. But in 90 years, the population will continue to grow and we must plan for the extra requirement of water whether it is for the area we are acquiring in Kaiduan or the north such as Kudat or Kota Marudu. We would need to locate sources of water,”he said.

“What we hope is for the people to appreciate that we are doing our best to think of the future requirement of water for everyone,”he said.

Sabah’s population has grown from 0.93 million in 1980 to 3.12 million in 2010. The areas within Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Putatan, Papar and Tuaran have 1.5 million population.

“With such a vast development, the competition for fresh water supply has risen from 863 million litres per day in 2005 to 994 million litres per day in 2010. The increase in demand has made the management of water resources more challenging and complex,” he said.