Monday, August 10

Unimas expertise sought to solve flood woes

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EASING FINANCIAL BURDEN: Uggah (centre), Khairuddin (second right), Wan Uzir (fourth left) and others show the 1Malaysia sign while holding a replica of KADS1M.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will collaborate with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to study the effectiveness of the ministry’s Environmental Friendly Irrigation System Manual (Masma) for flood mitigation.

The research will see how Masma could help reduce flood problem due to heavy rain in low level areas and peat swamp areas while ensuring that the cleanliness of the water quality is always maintained, said its minister Dato Sri Douglas Uggah yesterday.

The state Drainage and Irrigation Department is also involved in the study.

“Unimas, being located in low-level peat swamp area, provides a suitable location for this study. Furthermore, the ministry already has the concept whereas Unimas has the expertise.

“This is one of the main challenges we are facing today as many of the lakes in the country are facing water quality deterioration. We are looking for a better approach to ensure sustainable water quality,” said Uggah, who is also Betong MP and mentor minister of Unimas, to reporters at the handing-over of the 1Malaysia Undergraduate Discount Card (S1M) for Unimas students at the campus yesterday.

The university was also incorporated in the programme due to its technical expertise in rain water harvesting.

Saying that Masma was already completed, he pointed out that the main focus now was to test its effectiveness and see whether it needed improvement.

On another note, he said the ministry was planning to establish its ‘Friends of the Environment’ programme in Unimas due to the university’s strong emphasis on environmental conservation before introducing it to other institutions of higher learning.

Touching on the climate change summit to be held in Doha this yearend, Uggah said the main issues to be discussed by the 192 participating nations would be changes in rain pattern and frequent occurrence of flood.

“The climate change phenomena need to be addressed. We have to work out a mitigation programme to reduce carbon dioxide emission. The country has pledged to emit less than 40 per cent carbon intensity by 2020. The summit will work out how every country can contribute to achieve this target.”

When asked about Budget 2013, Uggah said his ministry had requested for more allocation for the implementation of flood mitigation projects, which was accorded top priority by the ministry.