Demand exceeding capacity cause of water supply disruptions in Kota Kinabalu – Shahelmey

KOTA KINABALU: Water supply disruptions in Sabah, especially in northern Kota Kinabalu, is due to the current demand rate for treated water exceeding 221 Million Litres Per Day (MLD) compared to the capacity of 171 MLD, the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) was told on Thursday.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, who is also state Works Minister, said it showed a shortage of supply to the area by 29.2 percent, therefore a supply restoration programme was being carried out.
“Our short-term programme started last June until now, which is to regulate the water flow around Kota Kinabalu and Tuaran, coordinate and modify the flow balance because there are places where we find that there is pressure in the comfort zone and there are also areas with low water pressure, we are balancing.
“We restructured the water supply management and cut the direct connection where previously there was a direct transmission line from the tank to the main tank which caused pressure disturbances.
“The feedback is that it (situation) is gradually stabilising, but there are still areas with low water pressure,” he said in response to an oral question from Datuk Darell Leiking (Warisan-Moyog) regarding plans to deal with water problems, especially at the Sabah Women’s and Children’s Hospital here.
Elaborating further, Shahelmey said the replacement of old water pipes, especially ‘asbestos cement pipes’ which are over decades old, is also being done in stages which is also one of the reasons for the high percentage of non-revenue water.
“We need to build dams and we request the cooperation of the State Assembly members to support the effort when we want to build water dams for the purpose of long-term water supply for the state of Sabah,” he said.
Regarding the problem of water supply disruption at the Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital, he said the water supply source that supplies water to the hospital area is through the Telibong Water Treatment Plant II Phase I.
“Immediate action was taken by controlling the sluice valve to ensure equal water supply and increase the water pressure to the affected areas, especially the Sabah Women’s and Children’s Hospital. For now, the problem of water supply disruption at the hospital has been overcome,” he said.
In addition, he said the project that is in the construction phase and in the process of completion is the construction of the Telibong Water Treatment Plant II Phase II upgrade project which is expected to be completed in early September 2023 and will be able to supply an additional 20 percent of treated water or an additional 16 MLD.
Meanwhile, in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Senallang) who asked until when Sabah will depend on tank water supply supplied by the private sector, Shahelmey said it is an emergency measure when there is a critical water supply interruption.
“However, what happened was that private parties took the opportunity to make excessive profits. They should only supply water and the cost will be borne by the government. Private water tankers without licences we have stopped their services since two weeks ago,” he said.

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