RM33 mln drainage work to reduce flash floods at Kpg Jeriah Sibu

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Dr Annuar (third left) speaks during the discussion with the residents of Kampung Jeriah Lorong 2B and Jeriah 8. – Photo by Peter Boon

SIBU (Jan 21): After the drainage improvement works project costing RM33 million is completed, rainwater will divert from flowing into Kampung Jeriah here, reducing flash floods, said Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee.

The Deputy Minister I for Education, Innovation and Talent Development Sarawak said the improvement works cover Taman Desa Satria, Taman Bougenvilla and Taman Kaland from Jalan Ulu Oya to Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.

“The RM33 million state-funded project has already been approved under the Mid-Term Review of the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“I have been informed by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Sibu divisional engineer Rudi Abang Zamhari that RM2 million has been approved this year for the project’s planning and design stage.

“After this stage, we will apply for approval of the RM31 million balance to implement the project,” he said yesterday after a discussion with the residents of Kampung Jeriah Lorong 2B and Jeriah 8.

He said that Kampung Jeriah Lorong 2B and Jeriah 8 get hit the hardest during flash floods.

He also revealed that a drain will be constructed from Lorong 2B which will be connected to the main drain as part of the short-term flood mitigation initiatives.

“This will be implemented if the landowner gives consent for the drain to pass through his land.”

As for the residents of three houses in Jeriah 8, Dr Annuar has proposed for the extended families staying at the ground floor to be given a land lot to build houses at other locations.

He said these extended families are still looking into the proposal.

Adding on, he recalled that, since last year’s floods, they have been working tirelessly alongside DID to get the project approved and funded by the state government.

“Hence, it is absolutely untrue to suggest that DID and I have done nothing since last year.

“The RM33 million-project would never have been approved in the first place if it weren’t for our hard work.

“Though the project has been approved under the Mid-Term Review of 12th Malaysia Plan, be mindful that such big project cannot be implemented within one or two months’ time,” he said, hoping the people can understand the implementation of this project will take some time.

He also pointed out that some RM20 million from the federal government had been spent previously on improving the drainage system in Kampung Jeriah, but was not able to address the flooding issue entirely.

“I agree it has not solved all the problems here, but we are coming up with the drainage improvement works for Taman Desa Satria, Taman Bougenvilla and Taman Kaland from Jalan Ulu Oya to Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman to reduce flash floods,” he said.

Dr Annuar said he understood the difficulties faced by the affected villagers.

“I know that flood mitigation measures cannot be done overnight. I am aware of their suffering. For this reason, I hope they will agree to these short- and long-term measures we are proposing,” he said.