Malaysia: Rubbish in drains and rivers are the main cause of flooding

Manjit Kaur The Star 22 Oct 12;

IT is clogged drains that usually cause flash floods in Ipoh.

Perak Drainage and Irrigation Department deputy director Juhaimi Jusoh said this was because drains had been turned into dumping grounds these days.

“People have always been advised not to discard rubbish into drains whether it is during the monsoon season or otherwise.

“This will help alleviate problems of flooding,” he pointed out.

Juhaimi was also concerned over the indiscriminate dumping of rubbish into the rivers although the waterways were not as badly polluted compared to those in other states.

“A television set was among garbage fished out from Sungai Kinta during a gotong-royong session recently,” he said, describing plastic bags, bottles and cans as the normal garbage retrieved during gotong-royong sessions.

Juhaimi said most of the rivers in the urban areas have been installed with gross pollutant traps (GPT) to prevent trash and silt from polluting the rivers.

“We have contractors to collect the trapped rubbish weekly,” he said.

In Kampung Temiang, Ipoh, villagers were disgusted by litterbugs whose behaviour were getting from bad to worse; and wooden planks were among garbage thrown into the drains.

Villager Harison Udoh, 60, said there were several clogged drains nearby.

“The JKKK (village security and development committee) members have conducted several rounds of gotong-royong, and we removed heaps of rubbish from the drains each round.

“We are fearful of floods whenever there is a downpour,” she lamented.

Zahidah Mat Yazid, 59, who is also the JKKK’s welfare bureau chief, said some people were still littering despite several gotong-royong sessions to clean up the place and educate the public on the need to maintain cleanliness in the surroundings.

“When they throw rubbish into drains, the villagers staying in the low lying areas will suffer because these areas will be the ones hit by floods,” she said, adding that those who found littering a convenience was doing it at the expense of others.

Over at Kampung Seri Kinta in Pasir Puteh, Zakiah Md Shaid, 70, said a flood gate installed in Sungai Kinta a few years back had helped to reduce the severity of flood in the area.

“Floods occurred just before the fasting month this year but the situation was not as bad as compared to previous years,” she said.

Zakiah complained there were people who dumped rubbish into the river and drains nearby

“The drains get clogged, and the conditions worsen when it rains, resulting in flash floods,” said Zakiah who has been staying in the village for over 30 years.

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