More sabo structures to be built to reduce risk of debris floods - PM

21 Jul 2022 04:49pm
Ismail Sabri. Photo: BERNAMA FILE PIX
Ismail Sabri. Photo: BERNAMA FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - The government plans to build more sabo structures across the country in an effort to reduce the risk of debris floods, such as the one that recently occurred in Baling, Kedah.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the sabo structures would be built across riverbeds to hold debris including boulders, mud and logs, thus slowing down the flow of water and reducing the impact of strong currents, especially after heavy rains.

"So far, such a sabo structure is being built in Yan, Kedah, and will also be built in Baling, as well as in Janda Baik, Pahang soon,” he said in a statement after chairing the 4th meeting of the National Water Council at the Kuala Lumpur Conventional Centre here today.

He said the federal government had set aside a huge allocation of RM393 billion to strengthen the governance of climate change adaptation in phases over the implementation period of 50 years.

Of the total, he said RM15 billion was allocated for the implementation of flood mitigation projects from 2023 to 2030.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also instructed the relevant ministries and agencies to increase the use of rainwater and groundwater resources to reduce dependence on treated water, including for use in rural areas, crop irrigation and sewage systems.

"The use of cheap and available alternative water sources needs to be taken into account in the development of new infrastructures and buildings as has been implemented in most countries to reduce the cost of using treated water.

"The groundwater use in Malaysia is reported to be less than three per cent compared to other countries despite the fact that our country has groundwater sources with a capacity of 5,000 billion cubic metres," he said.

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The prime minister also said that the Council had deliberated over and agreed on three proposals, with the first being the Water Sector Transformation (WST) 2040 plan which is to be implemented at various levels through the WST2040 National Steering Committee.

He said the WST2040 agenda emphasised on the federal government's commitment to developing the water sector in the country to ensure water security and sustainability, apart from making the water sector a catalyst for national economic growth.

He said the meeting also agreed to give recognition to the National Water Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) Water Quality Laboratory as the Water Research Forensics Laboratory, which will function as the centre of reference in investigating water pollution incidents.

The prime minister said the laboratory, which is equipped with world-class facilities with competent expertise recognised by the Malaysian Institute of Chemistry and the Malaysian Council of Food Analysts, could be an alternative to the Department of Chemistry's laboratory for water pollution research forensics.

He said the meeting also agreed with the proposal for the Flood Hazard Map, which shows areas with high flood probability based on current and future land use map, to be shared with the public,

Ismail Sabri said the practice of sharing the flood hazard map, which was also implemented in the United States and the United Kingdom, would help the stakeholders in the development planning, such as the District Local Plan or the State Structure Plan, as well as in the flood disaster management planning.

The National Water Council is an important platform for coordination between the federal and state governments to set the policies, directions and approaches in relation to national water management and development.

The prime minister added that in line with the sustainable Keluarga Malaysia aspiration, the federal and state government, as well as other stakeholders, will continue working together to ensure the country's ability in addressing water issues for the wellbeing of the Malaysian families. - BERNAMA

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