RM2mil needed for riverbank protection works

  • Community
  • Friday, 26 Feb 2016

State Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohammad doing an aerial survey of the flood situation in southern Sarawak. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR

KUCHING: The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) needs RM2mil to carry out riverbank protection works for flood-hit villages in Batu Kawa here.

SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said four areas, including Kampung Rantau Panjang, had been affected by riverbank erosion during the recent floods.

“DID has just given me a report. They urgently need RM500,000 for each of these areas where riverbank protection works immediately need to be done.

“In the longer term we will have to work out something more permanent, not only to protect the riverbank but whether we need to resettle the villagers. This is something we need to discuss with the families,” he told reporters during a post-flood visit to Rantau Panjang yesterday.

Dr Sim said SK Rantau Panjang was also in need of assistance as the school building was flooded by about a foot of water even though it was on stilts.

“Underneath, the structure is waterlogged and not very healthy for a school environment. The school has passed me a proposal for upgrading which I will submit to the Education Ministry,” he said.

Dr Sim was also happy to note the ongoing cleaning process by the Civil Defence Department, Fire and Rescue Department and other government agencies in flood-affected areas.

“A lot of cleaning and repair work needs to be done so that life can go back to normal as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, Civil Defence officer Shaiful Azril Zainal said some 57 personnel and cadets were helping in post-flood operations at Kampung Rantau Panjang and Kampung Sinar Budi Lama.

“This is part of our crisis management cycle. Normally post-flood works involve cleaning and restoration of the affected places. For example, if a house has been damaged, we can organise a gotong royong to rebuild it,” he said.

State Civil Defence director Mohtar Samat said more boats were needed to help evacuate flood victims in future.

He said the department currently had over 60 boats throughout the state but this was not enough.

“However, the lack of logistics did not hamper us during the recent floods because some villagers used their own boats to help evacuate victims,” he said.

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