Johor flood victims welcome move to expedite implementation of flood mitigation projects

30 Jul 2023 09:15am
FILE PIX - Bernama
FILE PIX - Bernama

BATU PAHAT,Johor - Residents in Johor who have often been affected by flood disasters have welcomed the government’s announcement to expedite the implementation of flood mitigation (RTB) projects.

Mohd Suhaimi Sallehuddin, 48, who lives in Kampung Parit Jayus, Sri Medan here, said he was excited to hear the news and hoped the projects would be carried out soon because the floods have become more frequent these days.

"Previously, we only experienced floods once a year which would occur between October and December, but for the past five years, it has become a regular occurrence and could also happen at the beginning and middle of the year," the oil palm estate worker told Bernama here recently.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the launch of the ‘MADANI Economy: Empowering the People’ initiative recently, announced that flood mitigation projects such as those in Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor and Johor would be expedited in order to protect the local communities from being affected by flood disasters.

In addition, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi on July 12 informed that the federal government has allocated RM1.6 billion for the implementation of the RTB projects in Johor, involving the Muar River Basin in Segamat and the Johor River Basin covering Kota Tinggi and Batu Pahat.

Meanwhile, a trader, Siti Nurneeza Esa, 34, laments that floods have been recurring every year and the flood mitigation projects need to be implemented as best as possible to deal with the problem in the long term.

"I hope that the project will last and is not just a short term solution. Careful study and research must be conducted to solve the problem once and for all.

"This year alone, my house was hit by floods twice, once in January and the water receded after a few days. Then in March it happened again and this time the water rose up to two metres.

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"We residents are tired of having to take shelter at the relief centre,” she added.

A resident of Parit Ahmad, Hamidin Sukiman, 25, hailed the government's efforts to speed up the flood mitigation project as this will be able to prevent future disasters.

"Many are still traumatised by the big flood which hit last March. Each time it gets dark, I feel anxious and panicky because I fear the floods will happen again," said the factory worker.

Meanwhile, a housewife in Kota Tinggi, Ngtini Karchin, 60, in praising the government's commitment to improve the people's well-being said the move would also help to reduce losses due to disasters.

"We hope that the authorities will monitor the implementation of the project and ensure that it is completed according to schedule in view of the unpredictable weather,” she said.

Hairizal Hadman, 40, who shared her view hopes that the project would be implemented immediately so that the yearly flood disaster in Kota Tinggi district could be resolved.

"The floods make it difficult for us residents to move as most roads would be closed and we are forced to use alternative routes that can be quite a distance,” he said adding the floods also cause damage to roads.

A total of 85,000 people were affected following the massive floods that hit Johor last March.

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