KUCHING, Jan 13: Clogged drains and under capacity old drainage systems long overdue for upgrading were the two major contributing factors of flash flooding around Kuching.
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong thus emphasised that it was high time for Sarawak Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and other local authorities to get serious in their responsibilities to address the flooding issue within Kuching city.
“In addition, it is necessary for the government to set up a Quick Response Team which can be deployed to sites to render assistance and inspect the drainage systems for any obstructions,” she suggested in a statement today in responding to floods which had hit various parts of Kuching after an intense rainfall throughout yesterday.
The flash floods problem, she pointed out had gotten worse over the years in most of the areas in Kuching which include Pending Industrial Park particularly Jalan Utama, Jalan Mesawa, Jalan Belian, Jalan Kemajuan and Jalan Kilang, Lorong 1 Bintawa Fishing Village and SJK Bintawa.
Pending Heights Phase 2, Lorong Chawan 18, Jalan Setia Raja, Jalan Pending (Beside I-com Square), Jalan Foochow Road 1V, 1T, 1Y and 1Z, Jalan Urat Mata, Lorong Song 3, Jalan Simpang Tiga, Kampung Tabuan Dayak, Jalan Song Thian Cheok, Jalan Tabuan, Jalan P Ramlee, Jalan Batu Kawa (the stretch between Paragon Concrete and Batu Kawa bridge) and Hakka Avenue were also not spared, she added.
Yong stressed that DID, which is under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, as well as all relevant councils, should act urgently to find out the root cause to the problem in each area regularly affected by floods so that the most appropriate measures can be taken.
“Many members of the public had also expressed their disappointment to me that they have not seen the readiness and quick response from the authorities to solve the flash flood issue in Kuching and questioned the government the availability of a comprehensive master plan to address the issue,” she said.
Flash flood issue, she continued, was not a petty issue but a major problem that demands immediate attention and action.
“In my views, one of the ways the government can do is to upgrade the drainage design standards so to ensure they can handle higher rainfall intensities over a much longer durations.
“The impact of a flash flood can be catastrophic and cause damage to properties. Those who have been constantly affected by the flash flood are feeling helpless as the councils and authorities concerned are not being attentive to their call for help,” she alleged.
Yong said the aftermath of the flash flood had caused much distress to many, not only that there were so much cleaning works to be done but the loss suffered as a result of property and vehicles damaged and in some cases resulting in business to come to a halt.
“I would like to tell the Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian) to stop whining there is no money to implement flood mitigation plans.
“Does he not know his job is not to whine but to solve the problems of the people? Otherwise, he can just choose to go back to the medical profession if he thinks that it is too much for him to handle as a minister,” she said. -DayakDaily
Yong (in black) inspecting the drainage at one of the areas she visited today.