Drought-stricken Papar needs 7 mln litres of clean water daily

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PAPAR, March 17: The drought-hit Papar district requires a minimum of seven million litres per day (lpd) of clean water supply to meet the needs of residents in affected areas, said its Member of Parliament, Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.

Armizan, who is also Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister, said that as of yesterday, the water delivery process to affected areas involved only 1.18 million lpd, far below the needs of the district’s population.

“We started delivering water supplies to affected areas on Feb 23 and as soon as the drought disaster was declared on March 13, we increased the capacity of this water supply delivery using lorries and so on. Before the disaster was announced, we delivered about 600,000 lpd.

“We will strive further to seek assistance from various parties including the state government and the private sector in terms of providing suitable lorries to deliver water supplies,” he told reporters after inspecting the process of delivering treated water in Kampung Kuala Dalam Papar here today.

Last Wednesday, the Papar District Disaster Management Department declared the district, located approximately 38 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, as a drought disaster area due to a critical water supply crisis caused by the hot weather.

The drought affects 150,000 residents, 42 villages, seven schools, seven housing estates and three houses of worship.

Armizan said clean water would be delivered periodically to areas with static tanks, and his team would also identify any areas lacking such facilities, such as small villages and high-rise residences, to address the issue so that residents receive an adequate water supply.

He said several districts like Beaufort and Ranau had extended help by deploying their assets to facilitate the delivery of water to the affected areas.

“We need to use the available allocation for renting lorries (water tankers) and so on to enable us to assist the community. This will continue until this issue is settled, and the Emergency Water Supply Scheme (EWSS) Water Treatment Plant (LRA) and Jetama LRA are operating as usual,” he said.