KUALA LUMPUR: Problems concerning non-revenue water (NRW) in Sabah is considered to be the worst and RM171 million in grants had been allocated to rectify the situation.
Dr Maximus Ongkili, the Energy, Green Technology and Water minister, said an intervention through the national non-revenue water reduction programme was made to aid water supply operators in the state.
NRW is primarily defined by wastage of water due to old piping system and constant leakages.
Compared to Sabah, six other states facing issues of NRW required a much lower financial assistance to resolve them – Perlis (RM80.8 million) Kedah (RM48.7 million), Pahang (RM87.43 million), Kelantan (RM69.63 million), Sarawak (RM70.74 million) and Labuan (RM13 million).
Ongkili moved to blame former rural and regional development minister Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna) over the latter’s alleged failure to address the problem.
“This problem (worst NRW in Sabah) had happened because the Semporna YB did not handle the situation despite a lot of allocation made to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.
“The problem in Sabah saw water leakages in residential areas went up to 52 per cent,” Ongkili said in response to a question by Dr Azman Ismail (PKR-Kuala Kedah) at the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.
Dr Azman had raised an issue concerning recurrent NRW problems despite allocation to build dams for water treatment plants.
And in a caustic jab against Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak), Ongkili said building dams would be a waste in Selangor since the former would only use it to “toss people in them”.
“That is so cruel. In Sabah, dams are sometimes used for fishing, instead of tossing people in them,” Ongkili said.
Azmin had recently said that he had wanted to “toss” the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang into the dams, to prove that Selangor is not facing a water crisis. – NST Online