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Water situation in Papar improves, says Shahelmey
Published on: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
By: Larry Ralon
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Water situation in Papar improves, says Shahelmey
Shahelmey said the Jetama water plant is operating using its second intake in Kampung Kabang, providing 9MLD instead of 13MLD, while the Kogopon water plant is running full, at 40MLD.
Kota Kinabalu: The water situation in Papar - the only district declared a drought disaster area in Sabah - is showing slight improvement, said Deputy Chief Minister III cum Works Minister Datuk Ir. Shahelmey Yahya. 

The latest update he received on Tuesday morning showed two of the water treatment plants - Jetama and Kogopon – in Papar are producing 49 million litres per day (MLD), slightly short by 10 to 12 MLD. 

He said the Jetama water plant is operating using its second intake in Kampung Kabang, providing 9MLD instead of 13MLD, while the Kogopon water plant is running full, at 40MLD.

“The operations of the Emergency Water Supply Scheme (EWSS) Water Treatment Plant in Limbahau is still temporarily halted because the chloride content level in the river water is still high,” he said, adding the State Water Department is still distributing water using water tankers, static tanks and for self-filling at the department office. 

Papar was declared a drought disaster area by the District Disaster Management Committee (JPBD) on March 13.

Shahelmey was met at the Jentayu Sustainable Berhad’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Magellan Sutera Harbour, here, Tuesday. 

On the water situation on another badly drought-affected area, Sebatik Island off Tawau, Shahelmey said there was occasional rain but the water level of the dam is still low.

The Water Department continues to send water supplied through tube wells to the islanders. 

For Banggi Island off Kudat, he said there were rains and the water treatment plant is operating and supplying 1 MLD, but also assisted with the delivery of water using lorries. 

“The Babagon Dam in Penampang is at a healthy level, meaning it can sustain for more than three months without rain,” he said, adding during this weather transition period there are some rains over the catchment areas.

Shahelmey said for the Kota Kinabalu area, the challenge is not on the shortage of water at the dam but more on the distribution line, caused by non-revenue water (NRW) and illegal tapping but which the Water Department have been making some improvements with the implementation of the vendor scheme. 

He said after this, the aim would be to fill up the reservoirs around the State Capital with the hope that by then the water supply would be more stable.

It has already been implemented in Kampung Brunei in Sepanggar then and will be expanded to three other identified areas, he said, adding that part of the RM300 million soft loan from the Federal Government would be allocated for the implementation of the vendor scheme. 

It was reported that the NRW rate in the State stood at 50 per cent, while in Kota Kinabalu, it was 38 per cent. 

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