Flood damage in Sabah runs into millions

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s interior folks are assessing the flood damage in four districts here last week while the state government mulls fresh mitigation efforts.

Thousands of household items, scores of livestock and vegetable farms were destroyed in the floods which hit the Tenom, Keningau, Sipitang and Beaufort districts.

Hundreds of evacuees returned to their homes and the damage was expected to run into millions of ringgit.

Beaufort was the worst-hit district with many livestock and vegetable farms destroyed.

“We (the government officials and the people) are still assessing the damage. Many cattle, deer and goats perished. The flood also affected many farmers and oil palm smallholders,” Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin said yesterday.

Yahya, who is also the state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, was non-committal on possible government assistance for the farmers but said steps would be taken to improve drainage and irrigation in low-lying Beaufort.

Meanwhile, another Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is state Infrastructure Minister, said Sabah was looking at setting up reservoirs and tidal gates at river mouths as part of efforts to tackle the flood problem.

Sabah forestry director Datuk Sam Mannan dismissed claims that illegal logging in the upper reaches of the Padas river was the cause of the flooding.

Environment , Floods in Sabah