Malaysia Country Report

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JANS lays infrastructural blueprint for Sabah's growing economy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2015, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2016, 5:09pm

As Malaysia moves towards developed economy status by 2020, population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change continue to strain one of the country's most vital natural resources - water.

In line with government initiatives to guarantee the safety and availability of water resources, Sabah State Water Department, or locally known as Jabatan Air Negeri Sabah (JANS), is actively taking steps to supply adequate water for the population of Sabah. A local government agency under the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, JANS contributes to the infrastructural support needed to boost the local state economy.

"Our main objective is to fully organise and modernise the water supply system to provide full water coverage as efficiently as possible for the whole state," says Awang Tahir bin Mohd. Talib, director.

JANS was officially formed in 1988. It operates 78 water treatment plants throughout Sabah - pumping out 1.23 billion litres of water daily to meet the demands of more than 340,000 active water consumer accounts.

The agency has successfully extended its water coverage to 99.8 per cent in urban areas, and is working towards improving its rural water coverage, which presently stands at 69 per cent.

JANS plans to apply information technology to develop an efficient water supply system and welcomes research and development partnerships.

With two key projects in the pipeline and a potential major raw water source study underway in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah's administrative centre where water demand is the highest, the agency welcomes private and corporate funding.

JANS also works towards sustainable growth by educating the local community about the importance of saving water, building infrastructure and protecting water catchment areas.

"Every town already has a demand programme planned over the next 20 years," Talib says.

"We want to ensure that the basic housekeeping is done on our part to guarantee modern and efficient service for our customers."

Sabah State Water Department