Villagers in Tanjong Datu affected by flood to be relocated to Metang Terap

Abdul Latiff on the left looking at the diagram of the project with Jamilah at second left together with other officials.

By Jacob Achoi

LUNDU, Sept 15: A total of 100 houses at Metang Terap here will be built to relocate some families from five villages in the district whose houses are affected by flood.

Minister of Rural Development Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said the five villages are Kpg Sileng Dayak, Kpg Sileng Melayu, Kpg Dagang, Kpg Stunggang Melayu and Kpg Semunin, all in Tanjong Datu constituency.

He said land clearing for the project under Phase I of ‘Program Pemajuan Kawasan (PPK) ‘ which was mooted by the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in 2016 was completed.

“The PPK project Metang Terap, which is undertaken by Ministry of Rural Development at a ceiling cost of RM30 milllion together with Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development.

“And at the moment we are still waiting planning approval from the State Planning Unit, and if we can the approval next month, tender will be issued that will take between three and four months,” Abdul Latiff told reporters yesterday during a site visit.

He added that Felcra will be the implementing agency and the tender for project to open for local contractors to bid.

“Once everything is cleared, we expect the project to complete by 2023,” he pointed out, adding that the project will be provided with water and electricity supply, places of worship, community hall and proper drainage.

He said the project on 30 acres state land will benefit 500 family members from the affected villages, whose houses were either hit by flood of face soil erosion danger.

He further said the families who will move to the new site have been vetted by the District office working together with the community leaders in the area.

Tanjong Datu assemblywoman Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu thanked the state government for allocating the 30-acre land at Metang Terap to relocate the families whose houses are either affected by flood or face erosion risk.

“I would like to thank the state government for consenting to give the plot of land to relocate the affected families from the five villages.

“The relocation of the families is very much needed because their houses are affected by flood, while some houses faced the risk of being washed away due riverbank erosion,” she told reporters yesterday.

She has accompanied Minister of Rural Development Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad to visit the site.

“The site (Metang Terap) here is the third one that we identify and is more suitable and not a flood prone area,” she said, adding that the project was awaiting approval from the State Planning Unit to follow all the criteria.

Jamilah explained that the Ministry of Rural Development has allocated RM30 million, which is the ceiling price to the project, which is Phase I under ‘Program Pemajuan Kawasan (PPK).

Phase II of the project, which was initiated by her late husband Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, the former chief minister in 2016 will be initiated later.

She also said that the bridge at Kpg Seling Dayak would be improved to provide better facility for the people in the area.

Meanwhile, Pemanca Benjamin Gersit, who spoke on behalf of the community leaders also thanked the state government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) for answering to the call for the affected families to be relocated.

According to him, at least 15 houses from Kpg Seling Dayak are in danger of being washed away at any time due to river bank erosion.

“I will like to thank the state government under GPS, which is taking care of the people irrespective of race and religion,” he said. — DayakDaily

Jamilah (seventh left) in a photocall with the community leaders.