WHENEVER storm clouds gather, residents of Taman Desa Impian in Bercham, Ipoh, start worrying. For them, heavy rain invariably leads to flooding in their area.
They blame the floods on poor drainage as there are not enough drain culverts to accommodate the huge volume of water during a downpour.
The area was one of the worst-hit during a recent one-hour downpour which caused flash floods that resulted in damaged furniture and electrical items.
Khamis Othman, 64, a retired army personnel who has been staying in the housing area for the past 26 years, said this was a frequent occurrence. Each time it rains heavily, floods happen.
“On Friday (Nov 1), during the rain, the water rose waist-high, destroying my furniture and electrical items.
“This was not the first time floods have occurred here; it has happened repeatedly – hundreds of times – yet there was no solution the authorities could come up with, ” he said when met at his house.
Khamis said he and several others had presented their ideas to Ipoh City Council engineers to have another water outlet constructed near the hills in their area for water to flow out but to no avail.
He said the council representatives were dismissive of their ideas.
“I have written many letters to the council, the Mentri Besar’s office, and even to the Prime Minister’s Office but nothing came out of it, ” he added.
His immediate neighbour, Ahmad Akhimullah Jalaluddin, 33, said he had friends who work in government departments who had visited the area and come up with plans to mitigate the problem.
Ahmad said they even drew a proper plan on how the flood occurrences could be stopped, if not reduced, but claimed the council officers refused to take note of it.“The two automatic pumps at the area are unable to cope with the huge volume of water when it rains heavily.
“The experts must consider our views as well because we are the ones staying here, and we are well aware of the situation, ” added the mechanic.
Hosni Mohd Basir, 27, who lives with his wife in a rented house, said both of them were out when a neighbour alerted them about the floods.
“I got home at about 7.30pm and the water was knee-high.
“At that time, I did not go into the house because I was afraid of being electrocuted. I went the next day to assess the damage.
“My sofa set, other furniture and several electrical items had to be discarded, ” he said, adding that both he and his wife were staying with his sister temporarily.
Hosni said he just moved into the area about six months ago and had never experienced such flooding before.
“I will be storing some of the electrical items which are still in working condition at my sister’s house, ” said Hosni, who works at a pest control company.
Another affected resident, civil servant Mohamad Hakim Ghazali, 30, said he had gone to Gopeng to visit family when the incident occurred.
“I got a call from my neighbour and rushed home to see the situation for myself.
“The house and the area were in a mess but I could not do anything and only started cleaning up the next day, ” he added.
Mohamad Hakim said he had to do most of the cleaning himself as his 23-year-old wife was pregnant.
“We are planning to move elsewhere, as each time it rains heavily, both of us become anxious, ” he said, adding that he had to throw away his mattress because of flood damage.
Nurse Nur Ain Anema Malini Juki, 31, said as soon as it starts to rain, she would move whatever items she could to the top shelves.
“My husband and I move our vehicles to higher ground so that they would be safe from floods.
“With the monsoon season, residents here fear the worst during a heavy downpour.
“I hope the authorities concerned will do something to ease our tension, ” she added.
When contacted, Bercham assemblyman Ong Boon Piow said he was waiting for a detailed report from the Ipoh City Council’s Engineering Department for further action.
He said the water pumps in the area were in good working condition.
“The problem is there is no recreational field in the surrounding area which can act as a retention pond, ” Ong added.