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Bung Moktar (left) and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Yakub Khan who also attended the meeting. — Borneo Post Online pic
Bung Moktar (left) and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Yakub Khan who also attended the meeting. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 25 — The State Government has set up a committee to look into and resolve the problem of flash floods in the state capital.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said that the committee will also monitor flash floods that often occur in the state and find remedial measures to be put in place.

Bung Moktar who chairs the committee, disclosed that its main objective is to address the issue of flash floods in Sabah, especially in the Kota Kinabalu City area and in other districts, through monitoring actions, enforcement as well as short-term and long-term actions to address this issue.

“This committee will coordinate actions between agencies through their respective jurisdictions so that integrated action can be taken,” he said when met after chairing the committee’s first meeting on Friday.

The Works Minister disclosed that the committee comprised various government agencies such as Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), Public Works Department (PWD), Local Government and Housing Ministry, Kota Kinabalu City Hall, Town and Regional Planning Department and related government agencies.

“The involvement of various agencies in this steering committee is very important because the issue of flash floods is not a problem of a ‘silo’ nature. The causes apart from the  weather factor are various and require smart and efficient integrated action for the well-being of the people,” he said.

Bung Moktar added that the committee will be going down to the ground for a detailed study to identify the cause, other than the weather factor, of flash floods.

“The steering committee will suggest ways to overcome it in addition to providing cost estimates to build or deepen the river or drainage needs to be enlarged which is the cause of flash floods,” he said.

He pointed out that generally, heavy rains brought on by the northeast monsoon winds are a major natural factor causing flood disasters but stressed that the factor of excessive human intervention through development activities and unsustainable behavior exacerbates the occurrence of floods in an area.

According to him, there is an urgent need to prioritize climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction by making it a mainstream agenda in development planning.

“To address floods we need to have a sound policy, plan and action plan to reduce the risk of floods. This plan needs to be integrated with social and economic development plans so that it can be implemented effectively and continuously,” he said.

Bung Moktar who is also the Member of Parliament for Kinabatangan, added that the community should also be made aware that natural disasters such as floods often occur unexpectedly, therefore it is very important to protect and appreciate nature through sustainable interaction in all aspects of life. — Borneo Post Online

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