MIRI: PAS Sarawak has attributed the increasing spates of intensive flash floods in the cities and towns in the state to “poor control by the state authorities over mega development projects in urban Sarawak”.
The past month of sudden floods that had frequently inundated parts of Miri City and Bintulu town were caused by commercial development projects in urban areas that had been carried out without first having proper drainage mitigation in place, said PAS
Sarawak deputy commissioner Jofri Jaraiee.
He said his party had found that even hillslopes in and around Miri City had been cleared for construction of housing projects.
“Flash floods in Miri and Bintulu in recent weeks were very serious as comparedwith before. Such floods occured even inside the city centre, and in residential estates that never experienced flood before.
“In places like Kampung Luak and Tanjong Lobang, the flood waters suddenly went up to two or three feet even after a short spell of rain,” he told Sarawak Metro.
He said the floods were so serious and intense now because developers were carrying out housing and other construction projects without implementing proper drainage systems to mitigate the potential damage to the environment.
“There are developers that are levelling parts of the hillslopes in and around Miri.
“Water from these hillslopes are flowing without control during heavy rain and since the present drainage systems are not able to cope with the sudden surge in the volume of water, the water will flow into the streets and onto the roads, causing sudden flash floods,” Jofri added.
The present drainage system, he said, was unable to cope because it had been clogged up by years of siltation due to the sand and debris from all sorts of construction projects everywhere in the city areas.
“These developers did not take proper measures to implement better drainage systems before they carry out their mega projects. The consequences are being seen now,” he said.
Jofri, who is also Miri PAS chairman, said the state government and local authorities should have been stricter and more careful when governing the activities of these mega developers, especially those carrying out projects in populated areas.
In the meantime, the authorities and local political representatives are busy holding meetings to try to find a long-term solution to prevent such floods in future.
State Assistant Minister for Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin has been at the forefront in chairing these meetings with the Miri City Council, the Public Works Department, the Drainage and Irrigation Department and other relevant agencies to discuss plans to implement an urban storm-management system.