DID told to do mitigation measures costing to solve perennial Debak floods

Uggah (centre), Betong Member of Parliament Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat (third right) and Major Ismail Mahedin of the Civil Defence Force (left) listening to a briefing given by Bartholomeu (second left).

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DEBAK, Dec 19: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah urged the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to come up with an estimate to implement the proposed mitigation measures to overcome the perennial flood problems affecting Kampung Lalang, Kampung Bungey and Kampung Babu here.

According to Uggah, the floods occurred during the ‘landas’ season from December to March annually, whereby the current occurrence was infact the second occasion it had affected the people and evacuation centres had been set up.

“But people are being affected when their roads are flooded as it cuts off communication and infrastructure and property is destroyed.

“We have to have mitigation measures in place for the people’s benefits in the long run and I will bring up the proposals to the attention of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for the necessary allocations to be given,” said Uggah who is also the chairman of the state Disaster Management Committee during a visit to Kampung Bungey here today.

Uggah also thanked the Betong Division Disaster Management committee for its prompt preparation for the eventuality of flood, including engaging the cooperation of community leaders and residents.

Earlier, Betong DID officer Bartholomeu Emily Ayu said that the three villages had experienced flooding in March and now December this year.

He noted that in 2017 and 2018, they were affected in the same month of February.

“We have an estimated 614 households in the three villages affected.”

He added that based on site investigation, the problem was caused by blocked drainage during the construction of SK Datuk Bandar when water from inland areas spilled over.

“Heavy rainfall too had coincided with king tide events at sea and increasing water volume in Sungai Rimbas which had spilled over inland,” he said.

Bartholomeu added among the mitigation measures proposed were to upgrade roadside drains along inner roads in the three villages, besides creating outlets near SK Datuk Bandar and at the end of Kampung Lalang.

He pointed that the existing waterfront at Debak town needed to be upgraded as part of the overall mitigation.

“The meanders along the Sungai Rimas need to be diverted or straighten to allow flood water to by-pass Debak town.

“Hydraulic structures such as penstocks, flap gates and creek closures shall be provided to control and regulate river water flow,” he said. — DayakDaily