KENINGAU: More than 30 houses were flooded in the Liawan constituency after heavy rains on Monday evening.
Among the flood-hit villages were Lingkudau where 15 houses were hit as well as Limbawan, Bakiau, Kauran and Mempikit Laut.
One of the victims, Keningau Umno vice chief Amir Jani, urged the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to clean up, widen and deepen the Bariawa River.
“I also ask the people living along the Bariawa River banks to refrain from throwing garbage into the river as it can block the water flow,” he said.
Rodi Razalie from Kampung Limbawan said the villagers had requested for the culvert, which was often clogged with debris, to be replaced with a bridge installed with gabion and for the river bank to be cleaned.
Several houses in Kampung Bakiau were also flooded due to overflow from the Bakiau River caused by debris obstructing the river flow. The DID had started clearing work.
In Kampung Kauran and Kampung Banjar, water from the Mempikit River overflowed onto the roads and houses in the village as the culvert system failed to cope with the water and the village head, Ismail Amit, said the culvert located on the main road should be opened and a bridge should be built.
“Although the cleaning was done by the DID today (Wednesday), but it will not change if culvert located on the river is not open and a bridge is built,” he said.
Kampung Mempikit Laut also saw water overflowing from the Opor River onto the road and homes of the villagers nearby, causing damage to property.
“The construction of the culverts in this road was inappropriate and should be changed. Every big flood, it can’t accommodate the water which will spill onto the road and houses located at the lower area,” said Village Development and Security Committee chairman Kapitan Chee En Kong.
“The government needs to consider the fact that the culvert was installed on the main route to SMK Agama Keningau,” he added.
Liawan assemblyman Datuk Haji Sairin Karno on Wednesday visited the flood-hit villages. He said a study needed to be made on the suitability of installing culverts on the main roads and whether bridges should be built instead.