PETALING JAYA: All local authorities and relevant authorities must make it compulsory for an erosion and sediment control plan (ESCP) to be prepared by certified professionals and submitted for development projects under its control.
In a position paper prepared by the Water Resources Technical Division of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), its chairman Datuk Ahmad Fuad Embi said this was among the recommendations that IEM’s erosion and sediment control sub-committee had proposed to the Government on how to address the massive erosion and sedimentation in the country.
“We must address this as it has led to enormous cost of rehabilitation for rivers and coasts.
“It has also led to loss of aquatic and marine habitat and this also affects our quality of life,” he said during a public forum on the subject yesterday.
Ahmad Fuad added that the plantation, mining, sand mining, agriculture, logging, highway and housing development sectors had contributed significantly to erosion and the subsequent sedimentation in the downstream areas.
He also pointed out that the situation was made worse by the lack of competency and enforcement of regulators, local authorities, consultants and contractors.
Ahmad Fuad also maintained that getting the ESCP certified by civil engineers was not enough and that these engineers should have adequate training in the area.
“In some places in Kuala Lumpur, the erosion rate is 5,000 times more than the natural erosion rate,” he said, adding that Kelantan (especially Lojing), Penang and Johor were also badly affected.
Ahmad Fuad said that the country had to spend half a billion ringgit each year on flood mitigation alone.
To counter this, he recommended that provisions under the Land Conservation Act 1960 that targets highland agriculture activities be enforced, as currently only Penang and Pahang are doing it.
“ESCPs must also be made a requirement for agriculture, sand mining and logging.
“It must be activated in all states and enforced,” he said, adding that the plan should be enforced by a technical agency and not the land office.