KK flood mitigation project will take off next year, says Jeffrey Kitingan

Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan. -The Star filepic

KOTA KINABALU: The long-discussed flood mitigation for the city will take off next year, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) will begin preliminary works on the Kota Kinabalu flood mitigation project this year and construction would begin next year.

He said the flood mitigation project under the Economic Planning Unit was approved in the 4th rolling plan of the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“The goal of this project is to improve the drainage system in Basin 8, which includes the Damai and Dah Yeh Villa areas.

“Preliminary works, including soil investigation and topographic survey, will be carried out this year. The procurement for this flood mitigation project is scheduled to be carried out next year,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (June 23).

His statement was in response to widespread criticism over last week's flash floods that submerged many parts of the inner city, including areas that never experienced flooding previously.

Jeffrey, who is also state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, said frequent flooding had been a long-standing issue in Kolombong, Inanam, Likas and the surrounding areas.

He said the DID has proposed conducting a study to develop a plan for the barrage-pump system, covering two main river catchments with a total area of 50.3 sq km in Likas and Darau on the city's northern side.

The system is crucial since much of the area is coastal-bound, low-lying and susceptible to flooding, especially when a rainstorm event coincides with high tide, he added.

Moreover, Jeffrey said this mitigation measure is unavoidable due to the sea level rise and changes in temporal pattern.

"It is high time to explore and start planning for such a mitigation method due to its proven efficiency in many urban places against flood damage," he added.

“As for the Lido area, the DID has appointed a consultant to finalise the design for the flood mitigation project. Unfortunately, the project has been pushed back partly due to the lockdown.

“However, the procurement for this project could likely be carried out by the end of this year, and I expect construction work to start by the middle of next year,” Jeffrey added.

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