RANAU – The earthquake at Mount Kinabalu highlights the need for natural disaster-prone areas like Ranau to have alternatives for raw water source intake.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili, said that the earthquake had affected the raw water source intakes which flow from Mount Kinabalu and led the people to suffer another blow when they became without adequate water supply.
“As such, Ranau needs to have more sources of raw water as the rivers flowing from the mountain that are depended upon are no longer sustainable. The Cabinet has directed for a detailed study which should look at the long-term and sustainable water supply need for Ranau,” he said at the launch of the mobile water treatment unit called the Nomad installed at the Kenipir River here which was official commissioned today.
Also present at the launch were Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr. Ewon Ebin; Water Supply Department (JBA) Director-General Ir. Noor Azahari Zainal Abidin, Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) Executive Director Ir. Mohd. Shukri Abdul Razik and Ranau District Water Engineer, Anthony Jullah.
The mobile unit has a capacity of one million litres per day (1 MLD) or 10 percent of the water supply requirement of Ranau town. With its commissioning, the unit now provides free treated and drinkable water to the public who can drop by to pick up their supply.
A stand pipe is also installed at the site to fill up the state water department tankers to supply water to those living further away. The site is about 8km away from the town area.
Maximus said Dr Ewon, who is also Ranau Member of Parliement, would oversee the detailed study on Ranau’s raw water source needs.
“We need to diversify our water supply source as any eventuality would make us vulnerable, especially as water is vital for our daily living,” he added.
Maximus also said that the mobile unit supplied by SPAN was supposed to be placed on standby in Ranau for the next two months but upon request by Ewon, he agreed to extend this on a month-to-month basis, depending on the district’s water supply situation.
The installation of the mobile unit is a joint operation of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, SPAN and Sabah Water Department.
It was shipped in a 20-foor container from Port Klang on June 21 and arrived at Sepanggar Bay Port on June 29th, before reaching Ranau on July 1.
The Sabah Water Department provided the authorisation, land, diesel required and operator, while SESB loaned a generator set for power supply, and Corporate Dynamics Sdn Bh and YUDA loaned their submersible pump. The commissioning of the unit was carried out by Degremont experts from France.
Ewon said the mud flood that occurred since Saturday in Ranau had once again affected water supply and the unit would provide a relief for the public who before this even had to depend on bottled mineral water which soon became
scarce. – SayangSabah