Villagers want Sg Skudai deepened, drains cleared of undergrowth

Kampung Laut is only 50m from Sungai Skudai and villagers fear the river will overflow during a downpour.

RESIDENTS of Kampung Laut in Skudai, Johor Baru, have sleepless nights whenever a downpour happens in the wee hours of the morning.

Abdul Rahman Kunchahmed said villagers would have to stay awake in case a flash flood occurred.

“This year alone, our village was hit by flash floods six times, of which three happened in September,” he said when met at Kampung Laut.

The 56-year-old who was born and raised in the village, said the worst flood was in January 2021, when waters reached over 2m high.

Abdul Rahman recalled that the yearly floods normally occurred during November and December.

“The weather pattern has changed over the years and our village has been hit by floods at other times of the year in the past three years,” he said.

Furthermore, the village is located only 50m from Sungai Skudai and the water level rises when there is heavy rain in upstream Kulai and Senai.

Abdul Rahman urged the authorities to clear undergrowth along the drain fronting the village, which was preventing rainwater from flowing smoothly.

“We are always on standby mode and have packed our important documents so we can leave quickly if told to evacuate,” he said.

Fellow villager Mohd Zali Abu, 24, hoped the Johor government would deepen Sungai Skudai as he said it was getting shallow.

He said the riverbanks had also started to collapse during heavy rain.

“This had forced some villagers who live near the riverbanks to vacate their houses.

“It is really stressful for us during the rainy season.

“We are constantly replacing damaged furniture and electrical goods,” added Mohd Zali.

There are about 90 houses in Kampung Laut with some 200 villagers.

Under the Johor Budget 2021, the state government allocated RM60mil for flood mitigation projects.From that amount, RM40mil was to maintain the drainage and irrigation system and RM20mil to deepen rivers and river estuaries.

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