The aim of this project is to improve the current system of waste water management in Sabah’s urban areas in order to preserve and restore water quality and ecosystem functioning.
The project seeks to address three major challenges to effective waste water management:
- Improving understanding of effluent characteristics.
- Applying appropriate energy efficient technology to treat effluent.
- Introducing and applying appropriate supporting legislation to ensure all future developments meet international standards for clean waste discharge.
- Increasing public outreach and education to address pollution at its source.
Dramatic improvements to the waste water treatment systems of Sabah’s major cities are urgently needed if they are to meet the challenges of future economic and population expansion. An independent consultant’s review in 2012 highlighted that more than 88% of urban and industrial waste water treatment facilities in Sabah were no longer functioning and as a result large amounts of effluents are being discharged directly into waterways surrounding Sabah’s urban areas. The project shall be implemented in collaboration with two key organisations – the Public Works Department (JKR) and University Malaysia Sabah (UMS). The complementary skills of these organisations, in implementation and research respectively, will develop the capacity of the state to tackle waste water related challenges. There will also be a strong educational facet to this program which aims to inform key stakeholders, including students, families, engineers and developers, about the roles they can play in solving this pressing issue.