BATU PAHAT: A total of RM7mil has been allocated by the government for a "quick win" solution to deal with the issue of floods in Batu Pahat, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the National Disaster Committee chairman, said that it would involve clearing up the drainage system in the district and purchasing a water pump.
"The flood in Batu Pahat is caused by a bottleneck in some of the drainage systems, which do not have any culverts to flow the excess water to the lowland areas, causing stagnant water.
"Some of the recommendations under our 'quick win' solution will involve deepening the trenches and clearing them of blockage caused by trash and mud, for which RM2mil will be allocated to the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) through the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma)," he explained.
He said this during a press conference after visiting the flood victims at the Dewan Orang Ramai Sri Medan here on Tuesday (Jan 31).
Flooding is also caused by the high tide at the sea, which causes the rivers in the district to be stagnant, he added.
"The DID has suggested pumping out this excess water once the water level has receded so the government has agreed to allocate RM5mil to purchase these pumps," he said, adding that the government is also conducting a flood mitigation plan for the Batu Pahat district.
This is part of the long-term solution for the flood situation in the district which is expected to cost RM50mil.
"While the figure is not as large as the flood mitigation plan in Mersing, which costs approximately RM2.3bil, we are not taking this matter lightly.
"We will include the plan in the 12th Malaysia Plan development research," he added.
Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said that other aid such as daily necessities for victims would be distributed immediately by the state and district disaster management committees besides immediate repair work on damaged roads in the villages.
"Road repairs will be conducted by the implementation coordination unit (ICU), the Prime Minister's Department (JPM) and Nadma immediately," said Zahid.