Budget 2013 - RM100 million for water tanks

In the Budget 2013, a sum of RM 100 million is allocated to Sabah and Sarawak to supply 40,000 plastic water tanks for the rural districts to harvest the rain water. This works out to be RM2,500 per tank.

This big amount raised a lot of doubts towards the real cost of the plastic water tanks. A quick check on the prices in the Sabah market, a water tank similar to the 1-Malaysia water tank is costing around RM500, plus transportation cost and reasonable profit, it should not be that expensive. Now this shows 5 times the cost, and there should be an explanation towards this high cost.

The kampong folks need to use the water tanks to harvest the rain water, but the question is why until today the clean treated water supply in the rural district are still not available. In many rural districts and even in the sub-urban areas in Sabah there are still no water supply and even though there are pipes, water tanks and reservoirs, but there is no water.

Giving them the water tanks is not a long term solution to the problem. There is a need of clean treated water to the rural district. What is the use of the tanks when there is a long draught season, or even one week with no rain, the people will suffer the same.

The problem of rain water collected and stored in water tank usually is not that clean, and it is common that mosquitoes start to breed in the water. The dirt from the roof can also end up in the tank, and the water can be contaminated.

Therefore, it is important to get the treated clean water to the rural district to ensure good health for our rural folks, and no more delay.

Hiew King Cheu MP for Kota Kinabalu