KUCHING (Jan 12): Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How hopes that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas will fully engage and entrust the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) to take charge of devising a much needed urban drainage and flood mitigation blueprint
He said the department should also look into implementing projects and programmes designed to contain and mitigate flood and flash flood in cities in the state expeditiously.
“There is a need for a holistic approach to resolve the problems of floods and flash floods in Sarawak.
“Besides the post-flood remedies, other preventive measures include implementing flood mitigation projects, the reconstruction and upgrading of drains and drainage systems in the age-old residential and commercial areas, and the strict adherence and implementation of the Sarawak Urban Storm Water Management Manual (SUStoM) for new development areas,” he said in a statement.
See welcomed the move by Uggah, who is also Infrastructure and Port Development Minister, in tasking JKR Sarawak with improving the post-flood response programme, particularly in determining the cost of repairs and forwarding the same to the government for speedy approval and implementation.
“Now that the Deputy Chief Minister, who has much experience in the federal and state administration, is taking charge of this ministry, he can integrate and collate the efforts of the various ministries, departments and local authorities that are taking apart the various preventive measures and post flood remedial works and created bureaucratic hindrances for effective and timeous actions to resolve the seasonal floods and flash floods in Sarawak.
“I am hopeful that he will make it one of his priorities to ensure that the longstanding federal-funded Integrated River Basin Project (PLSB), with RM150 million granted for nine Kuching flash floods mitigation projects and RM100 million for those in Sibu are expedited in their implementation,” he said.
He said Uggah should also secure federal and state funding to commission JKR to carry out a feasibility study with a proposed plan to coordinate the efforts of all local councils and authorities to carry out the reconstruction and upgrading of drains and drainage systems in the age-old residential and commercial areas throughout Sarawak.
“Thirdly, as a long term measure, the Deputy Chief Minister must ensure the implementation of SUSToM for new development areas and projects in Sarawak,” he added.
See said back in June 2016, the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) was informed that Sarawak had adopted SUSToM in January that year to ensure sustainable development and flood prevention in Sarawak.
“In the same month, the state government had set up a State Urban Development Committee chaired by the then State Secretary.
“One of the technical working groups in this committee was on Urban Drainage and Flood Mitigation and this technical working group had discussed and identified the short term, medium and long term measures to mitigate the flash floods issues,” he said.
He said Uggah would do all Sarawakians a good service by checking the progress of implementation and adherence of the measures and standards of SUSToM in the decision making of the State Planning Authority.