A concerned Malaysian writes about current affairs in Malaysia. If you like this site, please tell your relatives and friends. WE have the POWER TO CHANGE MALAYSIA. If you want to read earlier posts, please remove the "2" from this URL

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Flood Disaster Inquiry

The massive floods in Johor is a wake-up call to all Malaysians and the authorities that we have been taking things for granted for too long.

The tsunami of 2004 was a sign of how much damage could be caused by natural disasters but unfortunately no one bothered enough to predict the dire consequences of what could happen like the massive floods that have devastated the lives of more than 100,000 persons and caused damage of more than RM2.4billion.

Exceptional rainfall is a natural phenomenon but the response to the heavy rains and the systems of drainage and dam control needs careful study.

A public inquiry needs to be conducted if Malaysians are expected to have more confidence in the measures to be taken. An inquiry involving only government bodies may lead to cover-ups and finger-pointing with no resolution of the problems. After all we are still waiting for the IPCMC to be established.

Among the items I would suggest for such an inquiry are:

• Illegal logging in the state forests

• Development of land areas without proper drainage control like retention ponds

• Illegal squatter colonies without proper drainage

• Poor maintenance of river bunds and pumping equipment

• Silting of major rivers with no annual records of river depths

• Lack of master-plan to manage drainage capacities

• Lack of options to manage reservoir discharges

• Dumping of rubbish into drains and rivers

• Master-plan for disaster action and cooperation between different government bodies.

As many homes near Kota Tinggi, Batu Pahat and Muar were badly affected the government can provide food and shelter for the badly affected residents by housing them in the National Service camps nearby for the next one or two months it will take them to repair their homes.

Those in the NS camps can be dismissed early after they spend perhaps a week volunteering their services for the cleanup.

That way schools will be available earlier for students to get back to disrupted lessons.

No comments: