Sarawak sets aside RM30m for flood mitigation

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

BETONG, March 25 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg has approved RM29.6 million to clear clogged rivers as soon as possible and reduce flooding in rural areas, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.

He said the plan is to cover as many rivers as possible, especially in flood-prone areas.

“We hope to do what we can before the next monsoon season sets in later this year,” he told reporters.

On flash floods in Kuching and other towns, he said this has been discussed with the state Ministry of Public Health, Local Government and Housing.

He said the flash floods had been due to a blocked drainage system.

He added that there had been suggestions from the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to also clear some of the monsoon drains in the urban areas.

“We are still sorting this out as some of the drains are under the jurisdiction of the state DID while others are the jurisdiction of the state Public Works Department (JKR) and the local councils.

“The government hopes to find short- and long-term solutions to the flash floods caused by clogged drains in urban areas,” Uggah, who is also the state minister of infrastructure and port development, said.

On the proposed construction of the Short Take-Off and Landing Airport (STOLport) di Bukit Mabong in Kapit Division, he said it has been put on hold for now.

Uggah said the recent state development coordination committee meeting in Kapit had decided not to proceed with the RM193 million project.

“We are still studying the conditions on the ground very closely as the area is not accessible by road as well as without water and electricity supplies,” he said.

The Bukit Mabong STOLport will only be constructed once the area is accessible by road and provided with water and electricity supplies.

He added apart from STOLport, the state government will also construct Bukit Mabong district office building, government quarters and other facilities.

However, Uggah said the construction of the Bebuling STOLport is progressing well.

He said Bebuling STOLport project, costing RM296 million, is expected to be completed by January next year.

The runway has been upgraded from 750m to 1.2km.