KOTA KINABALU - A prolonged dry spell in Sabah with low river levels has prompted fears of water supply shortfall, especially in the drought-prone northern districts of Matunggong, Kudat and Pitas.
Worried that the situation could worsen if the dry spell persists for another month or so, many rural folk have started digging wells for their water supply.
"The situation is not that serious as there is still water from the wells. But if the rain doesn't come next month, things could get worse," said Jailani Hamdan, the state assemblyman for Matunggong, which was one of the worst-hit districts during the 1998 drought.
He said that despite the dry spell since February, most rural folk in Matunggong were still able to cultivate their crops.
Sabah Meteorological Services Department director Abdul Malek Tussin said wetter weather was expected by May with the onset of the inter-monsoon season.
"The current dry spell is characteristic of the ending of the current north-east monsoon," he added.
A Sabah Water Department official said the water supply situation in the state was still under control.
However, he urged consumers to conserve water and avoid wastage.