Indiscriminate rubbish dumping behind many flash flood incidents in Kuching

Dialogue session between MBKS and DID on how to improve drainage and control flash floods in Kuching.

KUCHING, July 29: Many flash flood incidents within MBKS’s jurisdiction were caused by excessive dumping of rubbish in drains and rivers.

Councilor Kho Teck Wan in a statement today disclosed blocked scupper drains and covering up of drains in residential areas were also behind flash floods during heavy downpours.

These, she highlighted, were issues which can be solved by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) once the causes are identified.

“However, there are bigger flood issues Kuching is facing and that can only be solved by improving the existing drainage infrastructure. As an initiative to control floods and better manage the irrigation system in Kuching City, Sarawak Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) had proposed the Projek Pembangunan Lembangan Sungai Bersepadu (PLSB) Sungai Sarawak (Sg Sarawak integrated River Basin project) with a cost of RM150 million in year 2018.

“The project however was put under review by the federal government after the 14th General Election (GE14). It was only given the green light to proceed after more than a year,” Kho revealed after attending a dialogue session between MBKS mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng, council department heads, steering committee members and DID personnel.

During the dialogue, they discussed how the city council can coordinate better with DID to improve the drainage and control flash floods in Kuching.

Kho revealed that there are nine sub-projects under the PLSB Sg Sarawak, namely proposed flood mitigation works for Sarawak General Hospital, Jalan Batu Lintang, Federal Quarters, Sg Tabuan, Sg Gersik, Sg Sinjan, Taman Malihah, SK Muara Tuang and Taman Uni Garden.

“The project originally to be implemented under a design-and-build concept has to start from scratch. The tender for consultancy services for detailed design was called for in July 2019, while the consultant was only appointed on February 28 this year.

“Due to all these issues, the physical implementation of some flood mitigation projects are expected to commence only in year 2021. In the meantime MBKS and DID will continue to do the quick fixes to solve flash flood issues in Kuching city,” she gave assurance.

Meanwhile, Kho advised those living within MBKS jurisdiction to keep the city clean and not litter as trash may ended up in drains and cause flash floods in certain neighbourhoods.

“I also notice many used face masks being disposed at parking lots of commercial and public areas. These masks not only block the drains and pose potential health issues to people, but also contaminate the rivers and sea. Let us play our part to keep our environment clean and safe,” she urged. — DayakDaily