Residents of flood-prone areas pull all-nighter to monitor water level, move belongings

Iris Garden is three feet under water following incessant rain. (Photo dated March 10, 2023, courtesy of DAP Sarawak).

KUCHING, March 11: Relevant agencies are urged to tackle the plight of residents of Jalan Luis, Jalan Durian Burung, Stampin Resettlement Scheme, Borneo Garden, Iris Garden and Jalan Burung Lilin, which are flood-prone.

According to Michael Kong, who is the special assistant of Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen, Democratic Action Party (DAP) has always been open to having dialogues with the authorities and cooperating to resolve the flooding issues in the housing estates in Kuching.

He said for the last few months, he has written numerous letters to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Sarawak to inform them of the plight of some of the housing estates within the Kuching area and also to seek a dialogue session.

The local councils were also made aware of the flooding issues in these areas.

Late last night, he went down to Iris Garden to witness the extent of the flooding woes there. Because the water had risen approximately three feet above road level, he had to park his car at the shop lots at the 3rd Mile traffic light before walking to the neighbourhood on foot.

“It was extremely stressful for the residents as they could not rest throughout the night. 

“Since 11pm, they were all awake to move belongings and had to monitor the downpour and water level till early morning constantly,” said Kong.

Iris Garden is underwater. (Photo taken on March 10, 2023, courtesy of DAP Sarawak)

He said in the face of his queries, the local councils (be it Kuching South City Council or Padawan Municipal Council — MBKS or MPP, respectively) always take the easy way out by claiming insufficient funds for them to fix the drains. 

To Kong, this cannot be true as the local authorities were seen to spend money on other non-essential items. 

“Even if it is true that more government funding is required specifically for these problems, then these councils ought to provide DAP with all information and master plans to equip us with the necessary technical information and particulars to raise the matter and push for government funding in DUN (Sarawak Legislative Assembly).

“Till today, there is not even a reply to my request for a dialogue, and therefore it is needless to say that the local authorities have also not provided us any such technical information and particulars required,” said Kong.

He urged the authorities to take quick, decisive action to help the residents of these affected neighbourhoods. 

“Instead of sidelining the DAP who is willing to help, allow a bipartisan approach towards the matter so that we can bring development to our beloved Kuching,” said Kong. — DayakDaily