Ipoh flats residents blame blocked drains for flooding and dengue

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 14 Aug 2020

A rubbish-filled drain is overgrown with grass just outside the fence surrounding Cherry Apartment. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

CHERRY Apartment residents in Taman Cherry, Ipoh are concerned about the poorly maintained drains surrounding the area which they claim contributed to the floods there.

The drains are filled with dead leaves and rubbish, blocking the flow of water.

Ranjit Kaur, a resident for 24 years at the apartment, said the drains had been constantly filled with garden and plastic waste for the past five years.

The 48-year-old housewife, who lives on the ground floor, said when it rained, the drain would overflow, causing flash floods.

“Although the drains are outside the apartment compound, it affects those staying on the ground floor.

“Once floodwater almost entered our home, ” she said.

Ranjit believed that the unmaintained drains were among the root causes for the spike in dengue and chikungunya cases in the area.

“I believe some part of the drains are clogged, causing water to stagnate and enabling mosquitoes to breed, ” she said.

Ranjit claimed that Ipoh City Council (MBI) and Health Department officers cleaned and fogged the apartment area only when dengue or chikungunya cases were reported there.

“Otherwise, I hardly see any workers cleaning the drains, ” she added.The state government reported a 200% increase in dengue cases during the first six months of the year in Perak compared to the same period last year.

Between January and June 15, a total of 121 dengue cases involving 93 localities in Ipoh city were reported.

Cherry Apartment was listed as one of the hotspots then.

Another resident, who wished to be known as Mokhtar, hoped MBI would clean the surrounding area regularly.

“The drains are mostly filled with plastic cups, bags and bottles. I have even seen diapers there.

“I have tried to clean some parts of the drains myself but I hope the city council will do it instead as they have better equipment, ” he said.

“One of my neighbours asked the apartment’s management to contact the city council but I’m not sure how it went. We are worried about our health here, ” he added.

Mohd Khairullah Mohd Khairi, 30, who has been living at the apartment for nearly three years, said his wife and a neighbour were among those infected with dengue in April.

“I think it was during that month when there was a spike in dengue and chikungunya cases.

“I did not check the drains. But I think it could be one of the factors causing these cases, ” he said.

A management spokesperson, who only wanted to be known as Suhaila, said they had complained to MBI several times but to no avail.“We made the complaints a few months ago, but no action was taken, ” she said.

When contacted, an MBI spokesperson said they would look into the matter and take the necessary action.

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