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Kaiduan Dam project on: Pairin
Published on: Tuesday, November 24, 2015
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Kaiduan Dam project on: Pairin
Kota Kinabalu: The Kaiduan Dam project in Penampang will proceed despite some protests from the community there.Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the State Cabinet, after considering several alternatives for water resources, decided to carry on with the project with a condition – the results of the Special Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) and Feasibility Study must be tabled in the Cabinet.

Besides SEIA, the Phase Three Kota Kinabalu Water Supply Project Steering Committee-Kaiduan Dam also decided to conduct the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in May, this year, to prioritise the affected community, he said.

"However, we are not able to conduct the SEIA and SIA studies due to community protests that are supported by several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO)," he said, adding that the Water Department is currently coordinating to implement the SIA for the project.

Pairin said the Kaiduan Dam will assist in providing long-term water supply to the people especially those in Penampang, Papar, Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Tuaran districts up till 2050.

"Due to the objections we received, the water supply demand has since continued to increase and the unpredictable climate has made it much worse," he explained.

"We have been doing reviews since its first proposal in 1987 by the Asian Development Bank through their probable research and it is also supported in the Sabah Water Resources Master Plan 1994.

"My Ministry through the Water Department has taken into consideration several water resource alternatives for long-term water supply," he said during the question and answer session at the State Assembly sitting, Monday.

Among them is by to get direct water supply from the river into the new water treatment. However, the extracted water volume would be limited and unreliable.

The desalination plant, on the other hand, would involve costly capital, for operations and continuous maintenance besides being not environment friendly.

"The underground water is too limited and not economic in terms of implementation whereas for the Mandalipau Dam, there's only 40 per cent of water compared to the capacity of the proposed Kaiduan Dam.

"Besides, the additional building cost for the dam is too high and will include the Crocker Range which cannot be encroached.

"The inter basin transfer requires the channelling of water through long tunnels which can be very costly, for example from the Padas River (80km)," he said, adding that the building of small dams is not helpful as well because it involves a lot of land acquisitions.

Also, Pairin explained that there is no water collection area to store processed waste water, not to mention the water treatment which requires modern technology with expensive building and operation costs.

Therefore, he said the Phase Three Kota Kinabalu Water Supply Scheme Project – Kaiduan Dam is still the best water resource in terms of quality and quantity.

"The long-term operation cost is lower compared to other alternatives," he added.

Pairin, in reply to an additional question by Moyog Assemblyman Terrence Siambun, also explained that the Kaiduan Dam project, which is currently in the preliminary stage would benefit the State and its people as a whole.

"The project will contribute to our tourism industry apart from benefiting the people in terms of infrastructure development as well as job opportunities," he said, adding that the distribution of water through gravity would reduce their expenditures.

"If the project is completed, we might even look into restructuring the water tariff," he added.

Pairin said one of the plans to build the Kaiduan Dam is to overcome the flood issues, especially in Penampang.

"Unfortunately, there are several groups of people and NGOs who are against this project whereas we, in the government, do not want to cause distress among the people. Instead, we want to help them."

Therefore, Pairin urged Siambun to help in the project's implementation instead of politicising the issue.

"Don't bring this into the political arena. This is not politics. This is a need and I hope the people will be able to look at it in a positive way," he said.

Earlier, Siambun called on Pairin to give up his 'Huguan Siou' title for failing to protect the Kadazandusuns' interest in Sabah.

"I will be calling for all the KDM (KadazanDusunMurut) districts in Sabah to show their sign of indignation towards Pairin as the failed Huguan Siou of the KadazanDusun by supporting the protest against the proposed Kaiduan Dam," he said.

According to him, villagers in the affected areas (Kampung Terian and Buayan) were disappointed with Pairin for insisting on pursuing with the proposed dam.


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