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RM2b Papar Dam to resolve West Coast woes
Published on: Friday, August 03, 2018

Papar: State Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony said there will be no Kaiduan Dam but a RM2 billion Papar Dam at Kg Bisuang, here, which will be constructed as a long-term measure to address water woes plaguing the West Coast of Sabah.When completed in three to four years the dam would supply about 700 million cubic metres (mcm) to address the water supply problem from Tuaran up to Membakut, including Tamparuli, Inanam and Kota Kinabalu.

Peter said the Papar dam starts at the Papar River at Kg Bisuang, about 15 kilometres from the main road on the old Papar-KK old route.

He said the height of the dam would be between 150 and 200 metres while the acreage would span over 522 hectares.

"It is timely to build this dam here which has been approved by the Cabinet to address the present water capacity which is less 15 per cent from the overall supply. If we do not build this Papar Dam, Sabah will face water supply problem in the long run by 2020 or 2025.

"By constructing this dam, it would supply 700 mcm. Bear in mind that Papar Dam is not the (controversial) Kaiduan Dam as its construction will not reach Penampang.

"Work is expected to commence end of this year or early next year, once the design and build of the project including its development plan which are currently being prepared, are completed," he said, after visiting the site.

"I see there is a lot of water in the river and it would be a waste not to utilise this ample resource to supply water to the people in the West Coast.

"We also plan to build a mini hydro to be part and parcel of the project so as to supply power to the Papar people," he said.

To a question, Peter said only several villages involving about 200 people would be affected by the project and he was made to understand that there would be no problem relocating them.

"In terms of several settlements here, we have met with the villagers whose houses are affected by the project.

"From my understanding, I believe there is no problem for them to be relocated as we will provide a proper place and compensation for them because we need to create a main water source for Sabah which will involve several villages here," he said, adding that assistance from relevant authorities and agencies would be sought to relocate the villagers to a proper area.

On May 23, this year, Peter was reported as saying that the new State Government will go for an alternative plan of the proposed Kaiduan Dam project will not get implemented.

He said the government is currently looking for plan B in view of the current water capacity that is "not that good" to meet consumer needs in the Greater Kota Kinabalu areas.

Peter's predecessor Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan had said last year that the construction of the Kaiduan Dam project or Kota Kinabalu Water Supply project, phase three needed to be implemented urgently due to the current inadequate water capacity.

Pairin was also reported as saying that the project would take five years to be ready and the current water supply capacity of 439.5 million litres daily was expected to be sufficient only up to 2022. - Hayati Dzulkifli



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