PETALING JAYA: Some Sarawakians living near riverbanks in the interiors who are often affected by floods are reluctant to relocate to higher ground, hindering the state’s efforts to resolve the recurring issue faced by the community.
According to Bernama, Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg said the state government had tried to move these residents to higher ground but they had refused to do so.
“They are afraid that their way of life will be affected, as they have always lived close to the river. When we ask them to move to higher ground, they find it to be quite difficult,” he said at a press conference.
In view of the northeast monsoon which has caused floods in certain parts of the Bornean state, Abang Johari urged people to take precautions over the next couple of months and comply with the authorities’ instructions.
The number of flood victims in Sarawak rose to 305 as of 3pm, compared to 139 this morning, according to Sarawak’s state disaster management committee.
Two new relief centres had been opened in the Sebuyau and Samarahan districts, bringing the total to six.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari said a new housing development around Kampung Sungai Bedaun in Kuching will be integrated with other settlements, with long-term flood prevention measures taken into account.
The irrigation and drainage department will assist the state’s land custody and development authority (LCDA) in the development.
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