Kota Kinabalu August 16, 2012: The water problem faced by four villages in Ranau - where on Aug. 11 some 60 people organised a sit-in protest - is due largely to inability of the existing pipeline (100mm) to support current demand there.
Water Department Director Ag Mohd. Tahir Mohd Talib said the surge is not only for domestic consumption but also for the long hours of highland crop watering and assured that measures are being taken to resolve the problem.
"Furthermore, the supply is free. Therefore, consumer awareness on being courteous and thrifty on water use is relatively low and this led to a supply shortage, especially in the highland areas,"
he said, in a statement, Wednesday.
He said the department has rolled out a long-term and short term solution faced in Kg Kibas, Kg Koporingan, Kg Purak Ogis and Kg Paka 1. Among the short-term solutions taken by the Ranau branch are installing a 4.5km 150mm (from 100mm) pipeline and connecting it to the other pipelines from the department's main tank at Jln Perkasa, Kundasang to Kg Koporingan.
And subsequently water supply could be made to the other troubled villages, which, he said, will be completed by September.
The department will also refurbish the Kg Koporingan tank as a temporary measure before it is replaced once all equipment are in place.
"Meantime, water supply to the affected areas will be scheduled, which had been done since Aug. 7 via water-laden lorries and if needed through the JKKK Chairman of each village," Mohd Tahir added.
For the long-term, Mohd Tahir said a RM100 million water supply system had been planned to supply treated water to Kundasang town and its areas nearby.
Allocation requests have been made under the 10th Malaysia Plan's first rolling plan (2011-2012), second rolling plan (2012-2013) and third rolling (2013-2014).
"However, we have not yet received the request evaluation.
We also submitted the project plan under the Government Transformation Programme 2.0.
If it is approved the project will take flight early 2013," he said.
On Aug. 11, representatives from the villages organised a sit-in protest, claiming the government did not keep its promise. They claimed they have endured years without clean water and that matters became worse when the only iron catchment tank storing water from the Mesilau River rusted.
Knee-deep mud and rust is reportedly sitting on the floor of the tank because it was not maintained or cleaned.
A spokesman, Ly J. Sya Welliam claimed the tank could no longer support the 3,000 people in the four villages. The group was also reported to have marched from Kibbas Siba to Ranau town holding banners and placards to voice their frustration.