PENAMPANG (March 25): Construction of the Papar dam project is expected to begin early next year said Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony.
He said currently the technical design was being prepared and this would take six months to complete.
According to Peter the ministry was also waiting for the overall report from the environmental-related agencies and departments before the construction of the dam could be implemented.
He said it was crucial for the ministry to speed up construction of the Papar dam to ensure there is adequate supply of clean water to the West Coast including Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Penampang, Inanam and Tuaran as the water supply in these areas had been declining.
"If we do not pursue with this project the water supply shortage will continue and on top of that the supply is needed to cope with the growing population in Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding areas," he told reporters after flagging off participants of the World Water Day Run here today.
On the construction of the dam in Ulu Padas, Beaufort, Peter said the ministry would ensure that work on the dam would be speeded up as the water supply was also needed to generate electricity for residents in Tenom, Sipitang and Beaufort.
Peter added that the ministry was also planning to create water storage areas in every district in the state to address shortage of water supply during the dry season.
He said the water storage areas were being designed to cope with water supply needs for a period of three to four months.
“The water supply at these storage areas will be drawn from the rivers.
"We will adopt this new method as a long term solution to the water woes during the hot and dry seasons which usually occurs from January to April," he added.