State steps up flood mitigation effort

Kuching and Sibu are hit by floods every year. — filepic

LUNDU: The state government will seek opinions of both local and foreign experts, including those from the Netherlands, to find the best method to overcome Sarawak’s flooding woes.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Sibu and Kuching were the cities that needed top priority having faced with flood problems every year.

He said the third-phase flood mitigation project in Sibu would commence next month, while phase two of the flood mitigation project in Kuching would begin in the middle of this year.

Both projects will be implemented through direct funding as well as the private finance initiative.

“We will use local and foreign experts such as from the Netherlands, to seek opinions based on their experiences in overcoming floods.

“These projects are important as we need to resolve the continuous flooding problems in Sibu and Kuching,” he told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony for Batang Kayan corridor rehabilitation programme here.

According to initial estimation, flood-mitigation project in Sibu will cost about RM850mil, while the project in Kuching is expected to reach RM1.8bil.

Wan Junaidi who is also Santubong MP said the Government would be able to cut cost through private-finance initiative. The matter is still being ironed-out by the Economic Planning Unit.

On a related note, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has allocated RM736mil to implement various projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan in Sarawak.

About RM95mil of the fund will be allocated this year to implement various flood mitigation projects and to overcome coastal erosion issues.

“Among the projects that will be implemented under our flood mitigation plans include Kampung Bako at a cost of RM3mil, Kampung Semilang and Kampung Beradek (RM7mil) as well as to overcome coastal erosion at Kuala Oya (RM20mil) and Batang Oya at a cost of RM4mil,” Wan Junaidi said.

Meanwhile, the RM7.2mil Batang Kayan corridor rehabilitation programme will provide protection to the riverbank from critical erosion as well as to protect public infrastructure and settlements at Lundu town, which is located some 100km from Kuching.

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Family & Community , East Malaysia , floods


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