KOTA MARUDU: The Sabah government would consider a proposal to build special permanent relief centres (PPS), especially in the state’s flood-prone areas, says Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.
He said the proposal should be given attention as some districts that were often hit by floods faced the problem of lack of PPS to accommodate all victims of the disaster.
"If this (special PPS) is the main requirement each time there is a flood, then the government will consider the proposal as there are not enough or no temporary relief centres (in the flood-affected areas)," he told reporters after handing out food baskets and RM1,000 in compassionate cash aid to heads of the flood-affected households, here on Wednesday (Jan 5).
He was asked to comment on the suggestion made by some elected representatives in the flood-affected districts on the need to build special PPS as their existing number is insufficient, apart from easing the management of flood victims.
Hajiji also urged all the relevant departments such as the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Public Works Department and the local authorities in Sabah to make comprehensive plans to reduce the impact and implications of flood disasters in the future by taking into account the aspect of flood mitigation.
"This includes plans to deepen the rivers, as well as maintaining the irrigation and drainage infrastructure such as drains that are clogged in each affected district,” he added.
On a related development, Hajiji also asked the management committee of the respective district Disaster Operations Control Centres (PKOB) to assess the damage to basic facilities such as bridges and houses.
Hajiji said the government would also channel RM5,000 in aid to repair the damaged houses, as well as several other financial assistance including for the purchase of basic necessities and to repair damaged vehicles, besides the RM1,000 cash assistance to all heads of household affected by the floods.
"Assistance to victims who suffer damage to their houses will be given after the assessment reports are submitted by the district officer as the chairman of the PKOB committee. The damage assessment is being done,” he added.
Hajiji also expressed appreciation and gratitude for the cooperation given by the departments and agencies involved in ensuring efficient flood management including the rescue operations and in providing for the needs of victims at each PPS.
Meanwhile, an aerial inspection by Bernama found that the flood situation in Pitas and Kota Marudu had improved with the flood waters starting to subside, apart from the clear weather in the morning and afternoon.
The continuous heavy rain since last week has resulted in Pitas, Kota Marudu, Paitan, Telupid, Beluran and Sandakan being hit by floods. - Bernama