LABUAN: Complaints regarding water supply disruptions on this duty-free island have decreased by 36 per cent over the first four months of this year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories) Dr Zaliha Mustafa said.

However, continuous improvements are necessary to ensure the people of Labuan continue to better enjoy the basic amenity, she said.

She said as a short-term alternative, in the first quarter of this year, the Federal Government distributed 1,000 water tanks to 1,000 households that are often affected by water supply disruptions in case of water shortages.

“I express my gratitude to the Prime Minister for approving an allocation of RM300 million last year to address the water supply issue in Labuan.

“Alhamdulillah, upgrading works are now being carried out diligently... Insya-Allah, the upgrading and replacement of existing pipes along 35 kilometres will reduce the risk of water supply disruptions and should be completed by the second quarter of this year,” she said at the Prime Minister’s meet and greet event with the Labuan community here today.

Dr Zaliha said water supply management in Labuan has been disrupted, partly due to 64 per cent of the existing pipes being worn out and over 30-years-old.

“As such, the main issues given attention by the Federal Government are the rehabilitation of ageing assets, provision of water storage systems and ensuring raw water sources are sufficient for the use of the Labuan people,” she said.

She said for the issue of electricity supply, on average, Labuan requires an electrical capacity of 55 to 80 megawatts per day.

“Alhamdulillah, two solar farms have been completed to further boost electrical supply capacity in Labuan, namely the Tanjung Kubong Solar Farm with a capacity of 5MW and the Bukit Kalam Solar Farm with a capacity of 10MW.

“Based on surveys conducted, over the past four months, there has been a reduction in electricity supply disruptions by five per cent compared to the same period last year,” she said.

Dr Zaliha said for long-term solutions, the prime minister has announced the construction of new power plants to replace existing ones in Patau-Patau with an electrical generation capacity of 100 to 130 megawatts.