Tuesday, April 13

Plan to resettle villagers in low-lying areas in Lundu approved


Abdul Latif (third left ,front row), Dr Abdul Rahman (second right) and the community leaders in a group photo.

KUCHING: A plan to build 100 units of three-room detached houses has been approved by the Rural Development Ministry to resettle selected residents from five low-lying villages in Lundu.

They are victims of flood or soil erosion who reside at Kampung Stunggang Melayu, Kampung Semunin, Kampung Dagang, Kampung Sileng Melayu and Kampung Sileng Dayak.

Pemanca Benjamin Gersit

The first phase of the resettlement scheme would be located at the 12.14ha (30 acres) state land at Metang-Terap, Lundu.

The scope of the project, which would benefit around 500 people, comprise the preparation of site for the building of 100 houses under the Housing Assistance Programme (PPRT) and building of all public utilities and necessary infrastructure like road and social amenities such as surau, tadika and sports courts.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad said the ceiling cost for the whole project is RM30 million.

He even described the houses as ‘cute bungalows’.

It is being implemented by his ministry in collaboration with the state Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development while Felcra Berhad is project implementing agency with Jusa Architects Sdn Bhd as the project consultant, he said.

Site clearing at Metang-Terap that begun on Jan 2, 2020 has been completed and the ministry is just waiting for the State Planning Authority (SPA) to approve the plan before the project is open for tender, he told the press at the project site at Metang-Terap in Lundu on Monday (Sept 14).

Initially, the ministry was given three sites to choose from while bearing in mind that they had to get the best site to ensure that the resettlers would not face problems like flood and soil erosion again.

Abdul Latif making an enquiry about the status of the housing project.

The ministry had to let go of the first site because it was on peat soil.

They also had to let go of the second site because it was tainted by issues involving land encroachment by villagers at the oil palm plantation, he said.

Earlier on, Felcra Berhad officers briefed Abdul Latif on the current status of the project.

When met on the sidelines of the function, Tanjong Datu assemblywoman Datuk Patinggi Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu said she thanked the two ministries for their endeavour to help her constituents who had been facing flood and soil erosion problems.

“The housing development may be completed in two to three years’ time,” she said.

A bridge at Kampung Sileng Dayak will be be upgraded to improve mobility between the village and the resettlement scheme area.

Meanwhile, Pemanca Benjamin Gersit also expressed his gladness over the project.

Like Jamilah, he too thanked the two ministries.

Benjamin said, with the completion of the project, the affected villagers from the five villages will not be worried anymore about flood, soil erosion, collapsing and floating houses.

Benjamin, who resides in Kampung Sileng Dayak, said in his village alone he had identified 15 families who are facing dilemma due to flood and soil erosion.

The last time Lundu experienced a major flood was in January 2019, he recalled.

Also present at the function earlier on was Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, who is also Bukit Kota assemblyman.

After his visit to Metang-Terap resettlement housing project site, Abdul Latiff, who is also Mersing MP, then proceeded to the site of the new Sebako Oil Palm Estate at Sebiris in Lundu.

He was received by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development.