Zahid Hails Sarawak Flood Mitigation Measures

05 Jan 2016 / 19:22 H.

KUCHING: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hailed the long-term flood mitigation measures in Sarawak and said they can be emulated by other states.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim would document the Sarawak experience in a memorandum for discussion by the Cabinet.

The discussion would also touch on cooperation among the flood-prone states such as Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan with the Department of Drainage and Irrigation on the construction of barrages as a long-term flood mitigation solution, he told a press conference after attending a briefing on flood mitigation at the State Operations Room here today.

"Insya Allah (God Willing), we will put forward the proposal so that a special allocation can be provided, although in stages, for the Sarawak experience to be emulated by the National Disaster Management Agency and the Department of Drainage and Irrigation at the national and state levels," Ahmad Zahid said.

He praised the Sarawak government for having implemented the Sungai Sarawak Barrage for flood mitigation as well as the effective integrated measures by the various agencies under the State Disaster Management Committee led by Jabu.

He also praised the work of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Sarawak which he said had been structured to become the "most effective community engagement' in the country.

He said the work structure of CERT under the Sarawak Department of Civil Defence would be utilised as the national template on preparedness in facing any disaster.

In acknowledging the effectiveness of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, Ahmad Zahid announced the conferment of the Gold Star Award on the committee which he himself would present to the state government soon.

As for cash aid for flood victims, he said that based on the Kemaman template, a portion of the cash aid would be used to purchase insurance to enable the victims to receive a better benefit should they have to put up with the floods again.

Ahmad Zahid said RM1.1 million has been approved for the construction of a retaining wall near the Rh Jonathan Philip longhouse in Bintulu where a landslide had occurred besides the purchase of a RM650,000 boat for use during flood relief operations.

According to a forecast of the Meteorological Department, he said, the second and third wave of floods in Sarawak would not pose a high risk for the state.

He said Sarawak now had 15,000 officers and personnel specially to assist in flood relief work and the number did not include volunteers and members of NGOs. — Bernama

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