Coastline erosion worsening, says Wan Junaidi

Wan Junaidi (third right) presents MRP grant to one of the recipients.

KUCHING: Erosion of coastlines and beaches is worsening in Malaysia.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuankau Jaafar said about 10 per cent of the country’s 6,700km coastlines are now badly affected by erosion.

He said coastal erosion was very bad especially in areas where coastal developments projects are being implemented.

In Sarawak, among the coastlines badly affected by erosion are at Sebangan, Saribas, Kuching, Bako, Buntal and Mukah.

“The coastlines are wearing away due to strong waves during the monsoon,” he said after presenting minor rural project (MRP) grant amounting RM247,920 to 71 organisations here yesterday.

Wan Junaidi said the authorities have thus implemented beach protection measures like wave-breakers and rock walls parallel to the beach to protect the shores against strong waves.

And due to the change in weather pattern, he had also directed the relevant authorities under his ministry to review their flood mitigation plans that were prepared two or three years ago.

He said based on observations over the last eight months, many mitigation projects that were planned a few years ago were no longer relevant in the current situation.

“We have noticed that over the past two or three weeks, whenever there was heavy rain many places that were never flooded before are now inundated by flood waters.

“This shows we are facing a different weather pattern, and therefore, we must look into this scientifically, h he said.

He said three week ago he directed the Drainage and Irrigation Department, Meteorological Department and National Institute of Hydrological Studies to review their previous data and come up with new proposals.

The new proposals, he said, would include the future flood mitigation projects in Sarawak and Sabah.

He said the studies and proposal would br ready in mid-November, adding that once completed, the proposal would be tabled in the cabinet meeting for consideration and action.

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