Tiong calls for Rajang, Igan riverbeds to be deepened to solve flooding problems

Cars passing through flood water where the roads cannot be seen clearly.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 30: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing is urging the Sarawak Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) and Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) to deepen the river depths of Rajang and Igan Rivers to solve the flooding problems in areas surrounding the rivers.

“DID and SRB need to develop lasting solutions for this flooding problem and take immediate steps to study and monitor the nearby Rajang and Igan Rivers which affect the related areas,” said Tiong.

He also added that the relevant departments must provide periodic reports on the situation to the state government in order to resolve the perennial nightmare the residents at affected areas have to endure over the decades.

After visiting the sites for himself after receiving many local complaints, he reported to have seen situations where there were a lot of pooling water in roads, cars receiving free washes from pooling water, and homes and buildings eroded due to floods.

House pets playing in flood water.

“I feel extremely disappointed to see such a situation. It is even more difficult to imagine what the residents must endure during a storm in the rainy season.

“Worse, these places that are long affected by flooding are not few. They include Jalan Engkillo, Jalan Lau Kah Tu, Jalan Chew Kung, and Jalan Dassan along others.

“SJK Do Nang on Jalan Engkillo is particularly affected. Even now students need to use a ramshackle wooden bridge to get to school. Unless the flooding problem is solved, the safety of the pupils will be threatened every time there is a rainstorm,” said Tiong in a press statement today.

Meanwhile, he pointed out the vegetable farmers in areas near Jalan Sg Bidut, Jalan Hock Ming, Jalan Yew Chai Toh, Jalan Chung Hung Toh, and Jalan Kuong Tiong to be needing compensation for their ruined crops during the floods.

SJK Do Nang at Jalan Engkillo affected by the flood.

“The Sarawak Government has strongly advocated agricultural development but without complementary infrastructure development, the farmers will lose confidence in being able to work their lands.

“Additionally, the issue of congestion on the river must also be addressed quickly,” he added.

In relating to this issue, he also noted that PDP Bawang Assan Youth Chief Cr Joshua Ting Fu Ying had reported to relevant departments through the Sibu Rural District Council to commence monitoring and flood mitigation as soon as possible to improve the flood drainage system.

“The relevant departments must jointly coordinate and discuss the flood situation in the affected areas in order to formulate a lasting solution. Otherwise, there will not be any improvement in the people’s lives,” said Tiong. —DayakDaily