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Clean drains to minimise floods in city

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah government wants a full report on the recent floods which struck Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding districts.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey G Kitingan said this would include the drainage conditions in other flood-prone areas.

According to Jeffrey, he had already requested a briefing from the Drainage and Irrigation Department director and how the department could minimise the occurrences of future floods.

"I am concerned about the drainage system, especially within the city limit. Sometimes, the drainage is poorly maintained, and there is too much rubbish thrown into the drain.

"I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to avoid this bad habit of throwing trash in the drain. At the same time, the director must ensure that the department or those contracted to clean the drains carry out their jobs properly," he said in a statement today.

Jeffrey, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, advised the people to be more vigilant because the weather had been unpredictable with frequent extreme rainfall of late.

He also suggested a need for a more effective flood forecasting system that could provide early flood warnings to the public, giving them more time to prepare or evacuate and potentially saving lives and property.

He noted the flood on Friday occurred following a heavy downpour that lasted more than eight hours and coincided with the high tide phenomenon.

"Unfortunately, there is no quick solution to the flood issue at the moment. We can only find ways to minimise it while we work towards building the Likas Barrage.

"High tides prevent water from flowing into the sea, resulting in inland flooding, as what happened on Friday," he said.

The Likas Barrage is part of the Flood Mitigation Masterplan for Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan.

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