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By D’Drift Team
NIAH, Oct 17: Plans are afoot to permanently relocate SK Batu Niah, which is also struggling with aging infrastructure, by moving it out of the riverbanks of the Niah River where it faces the constant risk of being flooded.
Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni emphasised that the proposal for the relocation along with the new school building has been approved.
“With that, I will bring this matter to Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) to get approval for a piece of state land to be allotted.
“SK Batu Niah is the first among the schools located at the riverbank which will be relocated within my constituency,” he told the D’Drift Team when contacted.
The primary school is home to about 300 students. It is located on the banks of the Niah River inside the small but busy Batu Niah town, which is a hub of economic activities stimulated by the oil palm plantation sector.
Lukanisman stressed that the schools along the riverbank must be relocated as they are constantly at risk of flooding, which is the most costly natural disaster that not only damages infrastructure and facilities but also disrupts learning.
“Under the 12MP (12th Malaysia Plan), I have gotten six to eight schools approved for relocation including SK Kita Niah (RM37 million) and SK Sepupok Niah in Sibuti.
“It is critical to relocate these schools with new buildings and facilities to provide students and teachers a safe place to learn and teach,” he said.
Apart from that, there is also school hostel project in Subis.
With Batu Niah being a flood-prone area, Lukanisman also wants to put focus on improving or upgrading the drainage system to mitigate floods that are occurring more frequently now.
“The drainage system is still lacking. It is not good enough even though Batu Niah has seen many changes and development over the years with more facilities to support the economic activities.
“Apart from that, there is the tourism potential of Niah Caves as the State government is working to get it listed as a Unesco Heritage site,” he added. — DayakDaily