Resolve siltation and low water level woes to curb floods in Sibu

Dr Hii Sui Cheng

SIBU, Aug 14: An immediate past president of Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) has commented that there is a need to resolve siltation and low water level problems to mitigate flooding problems in Sibu and adjacent areas.

“It means dredging to remove bottle neck locations in Rajang River as well as building embankments and pumping stations,” said Dr Hii Sui Cheng.

Hii said this in response to Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew who said  that the flooding problem here was not due to siltation but geographical formation in a low lying and peaty ground where Sibu is located.

Lau also said that dredging of Rajang River is not the solution but the building of bunds, pumping stations and retention ponds or lakes are.

“Siltation does cause localised flooding due to blockage or reduction of water flow. This is more the case of drains, streams and small rivers. If the water way is blocked, water will still find another route. If it doesn’t, the place will turn into a pond or lake,” he said.

Hii today said the other solution was to also stop irresponsible individuals and industries from dumping rubbish of all shades into the river that impeded the water flow.

“When the river bank population is small, the river can handle  this abuse. But, now with millions, the river is suffocated with so much waste,” he said.

Hii said as somebody who is always concerned with environmental protection, he wants all residents to be kind to mother earth and stop abusing it by throwing rubbish into waterways.

Since June 23, the town has also been experiencing flash floods after heavy rains that caused some roads in the low-lying area to be under two feet of water.

Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting wanted the government to build a pump station at Jalan Langsat as a solution.

“I have already written a letter a few months ago to request that a pump station be done at the open area in Jalan Langsat,” he said, adding that the new pump station will drain out water from the low-lying area.

Ting said according to the Meteorological Department, a total of 190 mm of rainfall was recorded on June 23 alone.-DayakDaily