‘Sabah govt to study rise in flooding frequency’


KOTA KINABALU: The state government has set up a special committee to study problems linked to the increasing frequency of natural disasters.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said the state Cabinet appointed him to chair a committee that would look into the causes of natural disasters especially flash floods.

“Currently, when it rains for four to five hours, flash floods will occur, and we do not know the source and cause. So, we will do a study to identify them and find solutions.

“If there are measures that need to be taken, we will do so to overcome this flood problem,” said Bung, who is state Works Minister, after a signing ceremony yesterday for cooperation between the Federal Public Works Department and Sabah for the implementation of a Data Integration System Programme for Administration, utilisation and project management.

Bung did not rule out the possibility that the on-going Pan Borneo Highway construction project could be contributing to the flood problems in some areas.

He also said that Wednesday’s floods in Penampang resulted in water supply in some areas being cut off due to water treatment plants being flooded.

‘When a plant is submerged in muddy water, it takes some time to clean and replace damaged equipment,” he explained.

“If there is damaged equipment, it will take about a month to replace them with new ones. This equipment must be ordered from abroad.

“I have also instructed the Sabah Water Department to look into this matter and we will send water tanks to ensure that the affected residents receive clean water supply,” he added.

On Wednesday, three people were killed in a landslide when floods wreaked havoc across Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and neighbouring districts.

As of yesterday, 32 people from seven families still remain at the flood evacuation centre in Penampang.

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

At least five major flooding incidents have occurred this year.

On the cooperation programme with the federal JKR, Bung said this was good for the exchange of information systems between the federal and state JKR to ensure that development projects in Sabah are monitored more closely.

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