KUCHING: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has made the implementation of three major projects a priority under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) as part of measures to mitigate floods in Sarawak.
Its deputy minister, Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit, said the first project would be the construction of an 8km long water diversion channel from Kampung Paruh to an area near Santubong.
“The project will cost RM1.2 billion, but in the 10th Malaysia Plan only RM200 million was allocated to do the two-kilometre dredging at the estuary, which is not sufficient. We’re still short of RM1 billion to complete the project.
“The project in Kuching is the most expensive because we will be building another barrage similar to the one at Sarawak River,” he told reporters after attending the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club (BNBBC) Welfare Assistance Mission at Kampung Simpok, near Padawan, here, yesterday.
Among those present were BNBBC chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, treasurer Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, State Legislative Assembly deputy Speaker and Tarat assemblyman Datuk Roland Sagah, Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang, Yayasan Artis 1Malaysia chairman Datuk Irwan Shah Abdullah @ Datuk DJ Dave and Kpg Simpok village chief John Jinggut.
Some 650 households from Kampung Simpok and nearby village Kpg Jambu received contributions in the form of daily necessities and personal healthcare items from the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club Welfare Assistance Mission.
In Sibu, Dawos said the government had so far completed projects under phase one and two of the flood mitigation projects, adding that the third phase, which would cost RM240 million, involved the construction of bunds and installation of pumps at the water retention pond.
He said the third was the flood mitigation project under 11MP in Bintulu at a cost of RM100 million, but the Mambong MP gave no specific details.
On the flood mitigation initiatives for Kpg Simpok and Kpg Ma’ang, he said his ministry had approved RM5.1 million and RM4 million respectively for building bunds in the two areas that are located at the Samarahan River Basin, adding that the construction could start this year if there were allocations from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).
Dawos said he had also instructed the state DID to survey areas in Siniawan, Kpg Semban and Kpg Tanah Putih for the building of bunds, adding that the bunds would be between 50 metres and 100 metres long depending on the size of the villages.
Meanwhile, Shahrir complimented the state government for managing the flood situation and victims well.
“However, there are still areas that we must pay attention to such as the roles of MP, village security and development committees, government departments and agencies to play a more effective role.”
He also took opportunity to praise the barrage system in Kuching, saying although its construction was initially criticised as a waste, it had been proven to be effective in managing water flow and tide.
During the event, Dawos also presented contributions of RM7,000 to Kpg Simpok and RM3,000 to Kpg Jambu, while Sagah presented RM5,000 to Kpg Simpok.