Time to solve perennial flash flood problem


KUCHING: Opposition leader Chong Chieng Jen has helped to highlight a decade-long flash flood problem at two residential areas here.

Yesterday he appealed to the Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID) and Kuching South City Council (MBKS) to immediately solve the problem troubling Taman Durian Burung and Happy Valley at Jalan Luis here. 

Chong, who is Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman, said residents in these areas have been plagued by flash floods for the past ten years. 

“Due to fast housing and commercial development and the lack of proper drainage, the frequency of flash floods has increased. 

“At Happy Valley, the water level reached the doorsteps after only 20 minutes of heavy rain and the houses at Taman Durian Burung also suffered the same fate after half an hour of heavy rain,” he posted on his Facebook page. 

Chong said the residents observed that the excess rain water at Happy Valley dischargedinto Sungai Tabuan while the excess water at Taman Durian Burung discharges into Sungai Maong through a culvert across and beneath Jalan Tun Jugah.

The culvert running across Jalan Tun Jugah is only 2.5 metres in diameter and was constructed in the 1970s, they claimed. 

“The culverts are no longer sufficient, especially given that many of the previous natural water retention areas have now been developed into housing or commercial estates,” said Chong. 

“The problem is made worse when the drains were not regularly cleared of debris that partially block the drains and slowing down the rate of discharge.” 

After a meeting with the residents on March 25, he wrote to the DID and MBKS to solve the problems. 

“The widening of the discharge points will not require huge funds and can be implemented quickly,” he said. 

The Stampin MP said he welcomed any alternative proposal to solve the flooding problems. 

Chong’s special assistant, Sim Kiat Leng handed over the letter to the authorities on his behalf as Chong is currently attending the parliament sitting.