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Kota Kinabalu
Ahad, April 21, 2024

Monitor drainage system all year round, says MP

Tawau parliamentary liaison officers on the ground at a section of Sungai Tawau at Kg Saddani, Sri Tanjung to check out the flood situation on Thursday

TAWAU: The relevant authorities here are urged to adopt a proactive stand, instead of reactive measures, in dealing with the incidence of flash floods in the district.

Making the call, Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew said Thursday, the stormwater drainage system should be maintained at all times so that inundated drains do not cause street flooding.

“Flash floods are not a new occurrence as these have happened repeatedly over decades. Yet, we are hearing the same old story today – clogged drains that overflow whenever it rains for a few hours.

“Preventive maintenance should be in place. Vegetation growing in roadside and housing drains should be cleared periodically.  If there is a problem, please fix it so that it will not escalate into a disaster. 

“If stormwater runoff is managed properly, I am sure it will not cause frequent flooding in residential or public areas that can result in damage to property or loss of lives,” she said.

Liew, who is presently attending the current parliamentary sitting in Kuala Lumpur, hoped the relevant departments could hire more personnel if lack of manpower hampered their efforts in monitoring the drainage system.

She was commenting on the flash floods that occurred in the Tawau parliamentary constituency that covers the state constituencies of Sri Tanjung, Apas and Balung, on Wednesday.

According to Liew, her parliamentary liaison officers – Robert Penggai, Steven Chan, Putra Andon and Lim Fui Keong, together with Tawau DAP representative Philip Yap Wui Lip – had gone down to the ground to check out the situation on Thursday. 

Robert, when contacted, said they had also met with the Tawau District Drainage and Irrigation Department (JPS) Deputy Engineer (Encik Venon Bidol) to find out the cause of the perennial flood problem affecting the people’s lives.

“We learned that the 60mm rainfall within half an hour in Tawau on Wednesday should not have resulted in flash floods unless there were clogged drains.

“When my colleagues and I removed one manhole cover along Jalan Chong Thien Vun (before the entrance to the Bintang Kubota Commercial Centre), we found a sea of rubbish inside the drain below the road,” he said, adding this blockage was among the factors that prevented the smooth outflow of stormwater to the monsoon drain along Jalan Sin Onn.