Since the year 1974, the Government of Malaysia has implemented the Rural Water Supply Programme [Bekalan Air Luar Bandar Program (BALB)] under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Schemes in the Second Malaysia Plan (Rancangan Malaysia ke-2 [RMKe-2]). The main objective of BALB program is to provide clean and treated water to rural communities throughout the country to improve their health and quality of life. Thus, stimulating the economy, industry, agriculture and tourism development. The implementation of BALB Program in Sabah has started since 2010. This programme was initiated under the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) – Improving Rural Development of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) 1.0 (2010 to 2012) and GTP 2.0 (2013 to 2015). To date, there were 184 on going/completed projects with an allocation of RM2.001 billion.
The audit performed at the Ministry Of Rural And Regional Development (Ministry), Sabah State Water Department [Jabatan Air Negeri Sabah (JANS)] and 12 BALB projects in 11 districts namely Keningau, Kota Kinabalu, Semporna, Kudat, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Sipitang, Kinabatangan, Kuala Penyu, Bongawan and Membakut. The audit revealed that in general, the performance of BALB programme in Sabah is good because the more than 90% of the targeted communities have access to clean and treated water. The expenditure performance for the program is also good where 96.7% of the allocation was utilised. In addition, a total of 169 (98.8%) projects under the GTP 1.0 were completed within the specified period. However, there were some weaknesses identified as follows:
i. the preliminary report for Water Supply Project of Mukim Tulid/Lanas/Sook, Sabah was not complete and comprehensive as the proposed pipeline alignment excluded a village in Mukim Sook;
ii. Reticulation System for BALB Project Year 2011/2012 Sabah – Zone 6a(3), Kota Belud were not completed within the stipulated period. Liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD) for the period 16th July 2014 to 15th October 2015 (the date of the Certificate of Practical Completion [CPC] issued) totalled RM584,005 was not collected from the contractor;
iii. no coordination between units in the Ministry led to the delays of BALB Project In Kinabatangan, Sabah Year 2012 since the installation of the pipes was temporarily suspended due to upgrading of road under the Rural Road Programme (Jalan Luar Bandar [JALB]);
iv. Reticulation System for BALB Project in Pulau Gaya inclusive of service tank reservoir (capacity of 5 million litres) that target 2,441 houses was completed but yet to operate optimally because the decision made by Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Bersepadu Pulau Gaya, Kota Kinabalu‟s meeting No. 02/2012 indicated illegal settlements on Pulau Gaya which resulted termination of pipes installation and connection to such villages; and
v. even though 5 BALB Project – Reticulation System were completed and operational, the performance of meter connection is low at only 38.4% (3,032 out of 7,901 targeted houses).