No water due to P'pang hill cutting
Published on: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Residents in Penampang, Putatan and the city can expect water supply disruptions whenever it rains, no thanks to the hill cutting and land clearing activities in the upper Moyog area. These activities had been affecting the quality of the water source, forcing the Water Department to shut down its water intakes, whenever water gets too murky or polluted.

The most recent was on Monday night where the department shut down the Kasigui Water Intake following several hours of intermittent rain from afternoon.

Some residents in the affected areas had earlier indicated to the Daily Express this had happened several times over the past months.

Water Department Deputy Director Teo Chee Kong said the water turbidity as of 9pm on Monday night peaked to 5,200 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU).

The reading was above the maximum 1,000 NTU set for the treatment plant to operate efficiently, according to standards set by the World Health Organisation.

"This is no thanks to the rampant land clearing activities upstream Moyog River…one year ago it was not as bad.

"Most of the affected areas are Penampang, Putatan and Kota Kinabalu, especially residential areas situated on higher grounds and at the far end of the distribution lines," lamented Teo.

Production at the Moyog and Kasigui treatment plants was estimated to be lower, around 177.50 MLD from its normal rate of 220MLD.

Kasigui Water Treatment Plant processes 55 mega litres per day (MLD) and Monday night's shutdown affected about 383,881 people in these three urban districts.

The previous major shutdown at the same intake plant was in March, where water testing carried out by the department found the water contained high levels of ammonia, largely caused by discharge from certain premises.

The department subsequently restored supply in stages the same night amid countless consumer complaints of low pressure to no water supply at all.

In the latest episode, several residential apartments and housing estate have not had any water supply, including residents at the Country Heights Apartment along Jalan Bantayan-Minintod, here, as at press time, thus having to bear without clean water for more than 12 hours.

District Officer Luvita Koisun, when contacted, also pointed out that the hill cutting activities were behind the bad water quality in the Moyog River, recalling a Daily Express report involving the Land and Survey Department Director Safar Untong, having stopped and confiscated machinery belonging to an operator carrying out extraction work near Kampung Togudon three months ago.

Koisun was referring to an illegal earth mining activity in the Kampung Togudon area where the Land and Survey Department issued a Stop Work Order on April 28 this year.

Asked whether the hill cutting effects will continue to pollute and cause problems, she said: "Definitely."


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