SIBU:The State Drainage and Irrigation Department should conduct riverbed studies of the Rejang River to understand the severity of congestion, says Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (pic).
The Bintulu MP said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 9) that effective ways to solve the flooding around Sibu were needed.
"The major floods in Sibu are causing severe misery for the residents there, as the river level rises and falls rapidly, inundating the streets, ” said Tiong.
He added that before-and-after photos in the media of the current situation are proof that the riverbeds of the Rejang and Igan Rivers have become congested to the point of being unable to properly discharge the water flowing through them.
Tiong said that flooding in the urban areas of Sibu cannot be solved by building dams and pumping stations.
"We need to explore conclusively how to effectively solve this problem. If we do not discuss these factors in detail and proceed to build pumping stations and dams without foresight, we will not be able to bring a long-term solution, ” he said.
Tiong added that the most important thing now is to understand the severity of the blockage affecting the river to take the siltation into account, saying that water cannot be discharged effectively without resolving the underlying factors that lead to flooding in urban areas.
"Even before water from the dam was allowed to completely discharge to the sea, several episodes of heavy rain fell, resulting in the river being unable to cope with the sheer volume of additional water, rain and dam water combined," said Tiong.
He added that the river must be dredged to avoid congestion, adding that the flooding threatens the safety and security of students and said that the safety of children playing in floodwaters is a daily concern for families.
Tiong also said that the flooding affects vegetable farmers in the Sibu area.
"The vegetable growers in Sibu are particularly vulnerable and exposed. The hard work of more than 200 farmers have been wiped out time and again. Everytime the crops are about to be harvested, their produce is abolished in a flash, bringing intense despair, ” he said.
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