By John Isaac
IT IS high time the Sarawak Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and relevant councils get serious with their responsibilities and look into the severity of flash floods in Kuching.
Pending state assemblywoman, Violet Yong said they need to urgently come out with an action plan with appropriate and efficient solutions.
She said it was also necessary for the government to set up a Quick Response Team which can be deployed to render assistance and inspect the drainage systems for any obstructions.
“The flash floods problem due to intense rainfall is getting worse over the years in most of the areas in Kuching which include the Pending Industrial Park particularly Jalan Utama, Jalan Mesawa, Jalan Belian, Jalan Kemajuan and Jalan Kilang, Lorong 1 Bintawa Fishing Village and SJK Bintawa.
In addition, 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), Hakka Avenue etc aree also not spared.
The DID which is under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing as well as all relevant councils should act urgently to find the root cause to the problem in each of the flash flood areas so appropriate measures can be taken.
“In most cases, clogged drains, the under capacity of the decades old drainage systems which are long overdue for upgrading are the two major contributing factors of flash floods.
“The public have 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,” said Violet, adding that they questioned the government on the availability of a comprehensive master plan to address the issue.
She said the flash flood issue is not a petty one as seen by some sitting in the power seat.
“It is a big issue which demands immediate attention and action. In my view, one of ways is to upgrade the drainage design standards to ensure they can handle higher rainfall intensities over a much longer durations.
“Those who have been constantly affected by flash flood are feeling helpless as the council and authorities concerned are not being attentive to their call for help,” she stressed.
“At the same time, I would like to tell the Minister of Local Government and Housing 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,” added the assemblywoman.