Papar Dam a long term fix to projected water supply woes - Peter
Last Update: 08/07/2019
PAPAR, July 8 (Bernama) -- The state government's decision to proceed with the Papar Dam project is based on the need for long term solution to a projected water shortage problem in this district, Kota Kinabalu and Penampang in five years time.
State Infrastructure Development Minister, Datuk Peter Anthony said there was an urgent need to increase long term water supply capacity in these areas until 2060.
“We have found that water supply in these areas will start decreasing from 2024.
“There is no better solution other than to construct a dam in Papar, formerly known as the Kaiduan (after where the dam was initially proposed to be built),” he told reporters after a visit to the Kogopon water treatment plant here today.
Peter said the state government will construct the Papar dam as soon as possible, adding that the site of the project has been identified and its design ready.
A team will be formed to to lead the project, including determining the quantum of compensation for the affected villagers.
He said villagers directly affected by the project will receive priority, especially those residing downstream.
“There are currently no settlements at the proposed main site, but there are a few at the downstream areas of Sungai Papar, and villagers there will be asked to move to new settlements in the area,” he said.
Peter said before deciding on the dam, the state government had considered other methods, including seawater desalination like how it is being done in Singapore.
“However, those options were found to be costly, especially when considering that we have a much cheaper option in a dam, which would also be used to generate electricity,” he said.
On ongoing objections against the project by non-governmental organisations and activists, Peter said it was their right to do so, adding that the state government was keeping an open mind to the protests.
"We (state government) have our own stand which is to protect the interests of the people so that they will not lose out.
“It is all for the benefit of the people, and not the chief minister, the minister or the Sabah Water Department director,” Peter said.