Floods: Govt ignoring opposition-held districts

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Assemblyman Dr Roland Chia questioned the BN-driven Greater Flood Prevention Committee's silence over the flood issue in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Thousands of residents in opposition-held districts surrounding the city are bearing the brunt of the authority’s disinterest in carrying out urgently needed flood mitigation programmes.

Many places in Penampang, Menggatal, Inanam and Luyang are regularly victims of flash floods. It takes less than two hours of heavy rain to flood the areas.

“The authority failed to prevent this disaster because there are no allocation set aside under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) for flood mitigation in my constituency in Inanam,” said Inanam assemblyman Dr Roland Chia.

He said areas within his constituency, especially in Menggatal, are worst effected and has caused hardship to the residents.

Dr Chia said, residents are living in fear and frustration because their properties are damaged by the floods and there is no compensation.

He said as tax payers, these constituencies should be protected.

He said, when Inanam constituency was under the Barisan Nasional (BN) there was the ‘Greater Flood Prevention Committee’ that was aimed at mitigating the perennial floods problem in Kota Kinabalu, especially Taman Wijaya Park, Menggatal.

“What has happened to this? Now that the constituency is under the opposition, the committee seemed not functioning,” he said after receiving complaints from residents of Taman Wijaya, near here, where more 100 residents came out to vent their frustration and displayed a banner “Tak Nak Banjir” (no more floods).

The Greater Flood Prevention Committee, said Dr Chia, was formed in 2012 to upgrade and clean-up the existing drainage systems in low–lying areas in Menggatal and also to complete the River Correction Project from Sungai Rampayan to Sepanggar Bay.

“But two years have passed and yet after a short spell of heavy downpour, floods easily occur in Wijaya Park in less than an hour,” he said.

He said pioneer residents in the areas recalled that in the 1990s when they bought their properties, floods seldom occurred.

But the situation had suddenly worsened, he claimed.

Since last year the areas around Kota Kinabalu have been hit by floods at least six times.

Filling up swamp areas

Meanwhile activist Jo Nandu blamed floods in areas from SM Tansau to Taman Ketiau, Kapazan-Tombovo (not far from city centre) to the rampant land filling in the vast swamp areas.

“These activities have caused major flash floods in the last five years and I am surprised that the leaders have not looked into their own constituencies problematic areas.

“There are no proper drainage system to flush these rain waters and Putatan Mini District has not been very diligent to clean up the rubbish from the inhabitants from Taman Ketiau and surrounding new housing estates,” he said.

Nandu said lower and smaller cars are at risk of malfunctioning in these road conditions while school childrens cannot walk without getting soak wet.

This also caused unnecessary traffic jam in the area which is compounded by bad road conditions.

“I am sure since both leaders are with the BN government, surely there is funds allocated for this emergency situation. Now this is the best time to make use of it,” he said.

Dr Chia said, there was funds of RM33 million under the 9th Malaysian Plan for the flood mitigation programme and also pending funds for it under the 11th Malaysian Plan.

“So, obviously, the government chose to be irresponsible in solving disaster like this,” he said.


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