KK, Penampang flood mitigation plans must speed up, says Warisan veep

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government must act immediately on flood mitigation plans for the city and its surrounding areas, in light of the severe damage from recent floods, says Datuk Junz Wong.

The Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president said that the two recent severe flood incidents within a space of 10 days had not only caused property damage but had also taken lives.

The Tanjung Aru assemblyman said Sabah must take immediate steps to ease the immediate flood woes before speeding up delayed plans to resolve the flooding havoc in Kota Kinabalu and neighbouring Penampang.

Wong, who was a former minister in the Warisan government, said that work on the flood mitigation plan was ready to be tendered during the Warisan administration in 2020.

"During my time, the budget for the flood mitigation plan for Lido and Likas was approved and ready to be tendered," he said, adding that the Warisan government could not carry out the plans as it lost the state government in the snap elections in September 2020, which was called following several cross-overs of assemblymen.

"The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government should have just carried on with what had been planned without any further delays," he said.

He said people continue to face losses through property damage among a host of other problems especially during the pandemic.

Problems of flooding in Kota Kinabalu and neighbouring Penampang as well as other districts in the west coast of Sabah continue to remain a concern as this year alone flash floods have hit Penampang district five times with no immediate solutions in sight.

Successive state governments have been trying to implement flood mitigation schemes for both Kota Kinabalu and Penampang over the past decade but the projects have remained on the drawing board.

On Wednesday (Sept 15), three people were killed in a landslide while flooding wreaked havoc across Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and neighbouring districts.

Thirty-two people from seven families remained at the flood evacuation centre in Penampang as of Friday (Sept 17), as the flood waters continued to recede over the last 48 hours.

On Sept 3, the city and Penampang were also hit by floods that left three people dead and several buildings, including wards and stores at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 here, were damaged by landslides.

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