PENAMPANG: Sabah needs a new dam as a proactive measure to tackle the problems of the shortage of water supply which is expected to reach a critical level within the next five to 10 years’ time.
The construction of a new dam was most crucial in ensuring that hundreds of thousands of people living in several districts on the West Coast of Sabah including Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Penampang, Inanam and Tuaran would not be facing a water crisis but instead received adequate supply.
In this regard, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the state government would build the Papar Dam as a long-term plan to overcome the problem as the water supply capacity currently was less than 15 per cent of the overall supply.
“We (Sabah) need a dam because we believe that there will not be ample supply of water in Kota Kinabalu (and nearby areas) within five to 10 years. So, I think it is quite crucial for us to resolve it now.
“We don’t want to wait for the time when the current shortage (of water) is 15 per cent, so (if) we don’t resolve that, it’s not going to be good for everyone, not only in Penampang; Papar; but also the districts near Kota Kinabalu,” he told reporters here yesterday.
He said this when asked to comment on the Papar Dam project announced by Sabah Minister for Infrastructure Development Datuk Peter Anthony who had made a visit to the location of the dam’s construction in Kampung Bisuang, Papar recently.
Commenting further, Mohd Shafie said the construction of the Papar Dam would be carried out elsewhere and not at the same spot as the construction for the Kaiduan Dam project.
The Kaiduan Dam project planned by the previous state government had received protests from various parties including the residents, activists and non-governmental organisations.
During the visit on Aug 2, Peter had said that the state government would not continue with the Kaiduan Dam project but would build the Papar Dam as an alternative to tackle the water problem faced by the Sabah West Coast.
He said the construction of the Papar Dam costing RM2 billion was expected to begin at the end of the year. — Bernama