Water supply in Sabah is expected to rise from the current 760 million litres per day (MID) to 1,180 MLD once water filtration plants planned under the Ninth Malaysia Plan 9MP) come on-stream. Allocations have been made under the 9MP to build four large plants — in Telibong (Tamparuli), Papar, Sandakan (second phase) and Kudat — and several small ones in places such as Sipitang, Kota Belud, Pulau Banggi, Kunak, Balung, Tenom, Kanibungan (Pitas), Kalabakan and Sukau.
Sabah Water Department Director Ag Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib said the Telibong plant had a capacity of 80 MLD and was expected to begin operating in March, the Papar plant (40 MLD) sometime this year, the Sandakan plant (125 MLD) in September and the Kudat plant (55 MLD) at the end of the year. He said the increase in supply would enable the state to meet the needs of not only the fast- developing industrial sector but also more people in the rural areas. The plant projects were being implemented with 9MP allocations of RM1 .3 billion from the Federal Government, RM600 million from the State Government and RM370 million from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, he told Bernama. Ag Mohd Tahir said Sabah now faced a water shortage of about 180 MLD as demand was 940 MLD compared to existing supply of only 760 MLD. Papar, Tuaran, Sandakan, Kudat and Kota Kinabalu had been identified as places which faced a serious shortage of water supply, he added. He said the Telibong plant would ease the shortage of water supply not only in Kota Kinabalu but also in Tuaran while the plant in Papar would help solve the water shortage in Papar and Kimanis and have a 30 per cent surplus. A small plant, of about 12 MLD capacity, has gone into operation in Papar pending the coming on-stream of the big plant, he added. Ag Mohd Tahir said the department was implementing an emergency project in Sandakan to supply more water pending the completion of the second phase of the Sandakan plant in September, - Bernama