Top posts

Featured Posts

Consider Re-locating Kaiduan Dam - Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:    “The Sabah government shouldconsider re-locating the Kaiduan Dam rather than adopt intransigent and stubborn attitudes from their federal government.  They should also establish their own attitudes in governing consistent with local cultures and attitude.  They should not shaft the building of the Kaiduan dam down the people’s throats” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in commenting on the people’s growingprotests onthe Kaiduan dam and government insistence to build it.
Sabahans are well known to be patient, caring and accommodating.   The government should adopt such good attributes in governing.

As far as the proposed Kaiduan dam is concerned, which is 3 times bigger than the Babagon dam, the people have voiced their grievances and raised their objections.  Their objections are not unreasonable or not unjustifiable.  After all, the Kaiduan dam will cover an area of about 350 of water catchment area of which 12 will be flooded. 

The proposed dam which will also beexpected to generate 37 MW of hydroelectric power.  The water supply projectwill also involve the building of the new Maang Water Treatment Plant and the upgrading of the 2 existing plants and a special purpose 3.75 metre diameter water tunnel from the dam to Kg. Maang and onwards to the in Lok Kawi fordistribution to end-users.  

It was announced in May 2009 by the then Sabah State Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan that the Kaiduan Dam and the plan for the construction of the Maang Water Treatment Plant and the upgrading of two existing plants was approved by the Sabah State Cabinet on 13 April 2009 and it would cost a total RM2.8 billion.

However, instead of listening to the views of the people affected by the proposed dam, the Sabah government seems adamant to proceed with the building regardless of the consequences to the people since approval has been given by the federal government.

The Sabah government in trying to justify the building of the dam on the basis that a dam is needed should not be used as an excuse to deny the rights of the people in objecting to the said dam although there are rumours of other reasons.

It seems that under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the Kaiduan dam could get another windfall for carbon credit under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).    The dam, the water supply and the hydroelectric power would be classified as green and environmental friendly and entitled to be reimbursed or paid carbon credit payments.   The project will get this additional funds other than payment from the government for the project, probably now costing more than RM2.8 billion.  It’s a bonus and means more profits, probably for some cronies too.  Its pure greed.

It is not that the protestors and the people do not acknowledge the need of a dam and the requirement for supply of treated water to Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding areas.  There are alternatives.

The Sabah government should not impose the Kaiduan dam on the people in Sabah, particularly in Penampang and Papar anymore, just because it is the decision of the federal government.

The Sabah government should seriously consider building the dam further away and piping in the water and electricitywhich will also avoid flooding and inundating 350 sq. km. in Penampang and disrupting tens of villages and tens of thousands of families.   After all, the existing proposal already involved building a specially built 3.75 diameter water tunnel.  A bigger dam could also be built further away without displacing so many people and villages and then channelling the water to Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding areas.

Technology in building water tunnels and tunnels should not be an issue since Malaysia already boasts of building the 43 km. water transfer tunnel from Pahang through the Titiwangsa Main Range to Selangor/Klang Valley costing RM3.94 billion.  In addition, Malaysia now has theworld’s first variable density tunnel boring machine (TBM) working on the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and there will be 10 TBMs working on the MRT.

Instead of forcing the dam project through to please their political masters in Putrajaya, the Sabah government should re-assess the suitability of the Kaiduan dam project and consider re-locating it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog