MBKS to carry out monthly flushing along Jalan Padungan to stop flash floods

From left: Rubbish collected inside a manhole along Jalan Padungan, as Wee (left) inspects the manholes and drainage system along Jalan Padungan today (Oct 5, 2022).

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Oct 4: Kuching South City Council (MBKS) will carry out drain flushing monthly, in the hopes of putting an end to flash floods that may occur during a heavy downpour.

MBKS mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng after inspecting manholes along Jalan Padungan today said this will be one of the preliminary actions taken to solve the issue of flash floods along the street.

“We must sort the problem out. How can there be flash floods in the middle of the city?  This is unacceptable,” he told DayakDaily when contacted.

During a recent downpour,  flush floods had occurred along Jalan Padungan, one of the oldest streets in the city and the main road serving downtown Kuching.  

To look into the root of the matter, Wee and other MBKS staff opened up all the manholes along Jalan Padungan to identify the main cause of flooding as rainwater is supposed to be discharged from here directly into the Sarawak River nearby.

“What we found was disappointing. We found debris inside the manholes. There were water bottles, beer bottles, even perfume bottles and a lot of plastic bags as well as grease blocks at all the drainage outlets.  

“Then there were also utility lines laying inside the drainage system. The rubbish plus the utility lines all added up to block rainwater from flowing through. In some cases, they may not totally block the flow but they managed to slow down the discharge of the rainwater, causing flooding on the road surface,” said Wee.

Utility lines were found in the underground drainage system along Jalan Padungan. Photo credit: MBKS

As a measure to prevent future flooding, he decided that flushing will be conducted every month, to ensure that there will be no rubbish or grease blocks along the drainage system that may stop or slow the flow of rainwater.

While MBKS is trying to solve the issue, Wee called on the public to assist by stopping the act of indiscriminating littering. 

“I will also check with the Ministry of Public Health, to see if the Ministry can make it compulsory for every food outlet to set a grease trap to prevent cooking oil from going directly into the drainage system,” said Wee.

He said the monthly flushing initiative will only provide temporary relief. As a permanent solution, he will have to discuss with utility lines providers on how best to approach the problem.

“They are laying the utility lines inside the drainage system and we have to pay a price for that. This is not fair to us. 

“We are not here to finger-point, but to hope that we can all come sit together to find a permanent solution,” said Wee. — DayakDaily