KOTA KINABALU, SABAH – The Water Department Special Task Force formed less than two weeks ago following instruction from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor has successfully addressed water woes affecting Sepanggar and Manggatal areas.
Met after visiting the Universiti Apartment 1 booster pump station near here Wednesday, Hajiji said it was a positive development in view of the month of Ramadan.
On April 12, Hajiji had directed the Water Department to set up the Special Task Force to immediately resolve the water problems that had worsened in February this year affecting among others residential areas in Sepanggar as well as Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Likas Hospital.
Among the steps taken by the task force was to send water tankers to the affected areas to distribute water as a short-term measure, while for the mid-term recovery measure, checks were conducted on the water valves in Tuaran and Sepanggar, apart from overseeing the water distribution system to Tuaran and Kota Kinabalu.
As for the long-term measure, the Telibong Water Treatment Plant Phase Two would be completed and a new 10-Million Litre Daily (MLD) Water Treatment Plant is in the offing to address the water shortage in northern Kota Kinabalu.
Hajiji, meanwhile, urged the Water Department to find a long-term solution to the water problem not just for Sepanggar but the whole of Sabah.
“A strategic and drastic approaches must be identified to ensure an interruption-free water supply for the benefit of the rakyat,” he said.
Besides, he said water supply is one of the pivotal factors for investors to come into the state.
During the visit the Chief Minister was briefed by Water Director, Ir Edward Lingkapo and Deputy Director Baharumon Sogon.
Accompanying Hajiji were Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Yakubah Khan, Assistant Minister of Works, Datuk Limus Jury and State Secretary Datuk Seri Sr Safar Untong.
He was briefed that among the causes of the problem was water theft and also equipment owned by the Water Department that constantly went missing.
These cases were now under police investigations.
Meanwhile, on the salary issues of the Universiti Kolej Yayasan Sabah (UCSF), Hajiji said the State Government acknowledged the matter and that he would be calling a meeting with Yayasan Sabah director and the management of the college.
“We will take everything into consideration,” he said.
On the issue of Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) workers not getting their pay, Hajiji assured that their salary would be paid by this month.