Residents in flood prone areas advised to plan to relocate to safer grounds

KOTA KINABALU: Residents in flood prone areas are advised to make plans to relocate to safer grounds during heavy rains.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the government is doing everything possible to complete flood mitigation projects, including two that are currently underway in Penampang and Putatan.

“Unfortunately, these works will only be completed in a few years and we anticipate that the entire flood mitigation works will be fully completed in six years time,” he said.

“In the meantime, I urge residents living around flood prone areas to make plans to relocate during this rainy season,” he said.

Kitingan said this during his visit to the Penampang Cultural Centre on Monday (Oct 10), where flood victims are temporarily housed following floods on starting Sunday (Oct 9).

Kitingan advised residents in low-lying areas to always be wary of rising river water.

He also discouraged landowners to avoid building their houses too close to rivers.

He said with the weather getting more erratic due to the effects of climate change, it was vital for villagers themselves to make proper planning to avoid losses during floods.

Kitingan said the Meteorological Department information also showed that the rainy season was just beginning, with more rains expected till end of the year.

During the visit to the temporary evacuation centre, he was briefed on the flood situation on the ground and the steps taken to assist victims.

He was accompanied by the Penampang district officer Francis Chong, welfare department officers, District Engineer Irene Choo, district police chief Deputy Supt Mohd Haris Ibrahim and Senator Datuk Ambrose Dumpangul.

Civil Defence Department records show that there are a total of 142 flood evacuees from 36 families housed at the various centres in Putatan, Penampang, Papar and Membakut districts as at 8am on Tuesday (Oct 11).