Keeping Klang Valley’s drains clean

ENSURING drains are kept clean and free of obstructions is crucial to prevent floods.

In the Klang Valley, two key agencies responsible for this important task are KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd and Alam Flora Sdn Bhd.

KDEB Waste Management’s responsibilities include domestic and bulk waste collection as well as public cleansing works such as cutting grass, cleaning drains and road sweeping.

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In Selangor, it has identified 245 flood-prone hotspots under the jurisdiction of local councils.

Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has the highest at 51, followed by Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) with 47 while Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) has 35.

A worker from KDEB Waste Management clearing away rubbish that filled a drain in Taman Permata, Setapak. — Courtesy of KDEB Waste ManagementA worker from KDEB Waste Management clearing away rubbish that filled a drain in Taman Permata, Setapak. — Courtesy of KDEB Waste Management

“To address the root causes of flooding in certain areas, KDEB Waste Management has consistently initiated drainage cleaning activities across all 12 local authorities using catch basin cleaners and water jetters.

“The maintenance of drains using these machines began after the major floods in 2021.

“However, there are still inadequately structured drains in many older residential areas.

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“This may result in water not easily flowing into rivers or monsoon drains, even though the drains have been cleaned,” said KDEB Waste Management in a statement to StarMetro.

It said each branch would ensure that workers were supplied with the equipment needed, including shovels, gloves, brooms, safety vests and rubber boots.

SWCorp utilising its vacuum truck to clean a drain in Kuala Lumpur. — FilepicSWCorp utilising its vacuum truck to clean a drain in Kuala Lumpur. — Filepic

For post-flood cleaning, among the tools KDEB Waste Management has at its disposal are six portable high-pressure water jetters, a truck-mounted high-pressure water jetter and a truck-mounted catch basin cleaner.

“For post-flood cleaning activities, KDEB Waste Management allocates one officer or branch head to coordinate cleaning works in flood-prone areas or zones.

“This team includes an executive and two to three area supervisors.

“The involvement of cleaning crew members depends on the level of flood debris clean-up required.

“In addition to fulfilling our primary duty of monitoring zones to ensure they are flood-free, the officer is also responsible for assessing the needs of equipment such as roll-on roll-off (roro) trucks, backhoes and the number of crew required for conducting after-flood clean-up.

A Alam Flora worker cleaning a drain in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. — FilepicA Alam Flora worker cleaning a drain in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. — Filepic

“They are required to generate daily reports on the progress of flood waste clean-up.

“This officer serves as a permanent committee member for the management of pre-and-post-flood clean-up activities for each branch,” said KDEB.

In the Federal Territories, Alam Flora said it had pinpointed 17 flood-prone hotspots.

The company oversees 14,849 drains, ensuring regular cleaning on a monthly schedule.

In a statement, Alam Flora said it had readied tools in preparation for potential flood clean-ups.

They have 60 assets in their arsenal including 47 arm-roll trucks with attached roro bins, six water jets, a tailgate as well as pairs of backhoes, four-wheel drives and vacuum trucks.

In Putrajaya, a backhoe, tipper truck, vacuum truck, arm roll, water jet and water tanker are on hand.

In the event of a flood, Alam Flora has 406 officers in Kuala Lumpur and 49 in Putrajaya including enforcers, supervisors, drivers and labourers.

“Each officer will be assigned to several zones to monitor and ensure that cleaning services are conducted according to established operating standards.”

Data from the Federal Territories Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp) showed that floods in Kuala Lumpur from 2021 to 2022 resulted in 1,105.67 tons of waste.

The highest amount of waste collected was 108 tons near Kampung Petaling Bahagia and Jalan Puchong areas.

Alam Flora has jointly identified with local authorities transit locations to facilitate and manage post-flood waste collection.

“Among the proposed transit locations are SJK (T) Saraswathy in Kampung Pasir, Damansara Community Centre and Alam Flora Mustering Point on Jalan San Peng, Kuala Lumpur,” it said.

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