KOTA KINABALU: About 300 families from 37 villages in flood-prone areas along Sungai Kinabatangan will have to be relocated to higher ground for their long-term benefit.
Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said the affected villagers, comprising largely those of the Sungei community, had to be moved to relief centres each time their homes were flooded during the annual monsoon.
Relocating them is the only way to ensure they no longer need to worry whenever it rains for an extended period, he said.
He said the Sabah government had earmarked a 4ha site near the township of Bukit Garam as the relocation site.
He said some RM8mil would be needed to build low-cost houses for the relocated villagers at the site as well as for the provision of roads, electricity and water supply.
We reckon it will take about a year to get the site ready including the construction of the houses, said Bung Mokhtar.
State secretary Datuk K.Y. Mustafa said on Wednesday that the state Land and Survey Department had been directed to demarcate the proposed site which he said was suitable as it was not too far away from the original villages.
In a related development, 96 people from 18 families continue to remain at evacuation centres after the water level of Sungai Kinabatangan that subsided last week again rose past danger levels in the past few days.
Kinabatangan district officer Abdul Latiff Kandoh said 1,435 people from 258 families in 12 villages were affected by the second bout of floods in the area while at least two primary schools remained closed.