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Relocation for city squatters
Published on: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister cum Minister in Charge of City Hall (DBKK) Datuk Edward Yong (pic) said the Government has plans to relocate residents of 34 squatter colonies in the city through the People's Housing Project.

"At the same time, DBKK also conducts its 'containment' policy where periodic census are carried out to ensure that no additional squatter houses are built and that any new houses or structures will be demolished immediately," he said.

He was speaking about the big pollution and environmental challenges faced by DBKK in his speech at the launching of the DBKK "Kota Kinabalu Bandaraya Bersih, Hijau dan Berdaya Huni" Seminar at a hotel in the city on Monday.

Yong said the 34 squatter colonies located in various parts of the city comprise an estimated 4,400 houses on government land, a large part built on riverbanks and seaside, making maintaining the cleanliness and beauty of the City a big challenge for DBKK.

"The garbage collection service in the area is only focused on a 'bin centre' or garbage sheds only because of the close position of the homes connected only by a small wooden bridge making it difficult to collect waste house-to-house.

He said there was a 'Micro Enterprise' Committee set up for home-to-home collection with a minimum payment of RM5 per month from each home.

"However, the committee is also unable to survive due to lack of cooperation by residents.

These informal settlements also do not pay house assessment, making it difficult for DBKK to provide consistent and scheduled services."

Yong said the indifferent attitude of the people who ignore the cleanliness of their neighborhoods has been addressed by the enforcement of existing by-laws.

The solution to serious waste disposal problems in Kg Sembulan last year was a manifestation of close collaboration with DBKK and the Kota Kinabalu Court Environment Working Group in compounding home dwellers who ignored the government's call and promises to clean their homes.

These environmental compounds were brought to court and heard by the Environmental Sessions Court Judge.

Offenders in Kg Sembulan Tengah were sentenced to a Compulsory Attendance Order supervised by the Parole and Community Services Unit, Prison Department, to carry out community service cleaning the Kg Sembulan Tengah area.

A total of 140 cases of Compulsory Attendance Order were recorded in 2016 under the Anti-Litter By-Law and 88 cases were recorded this year as of August 2017.

He said one of the new approaches used by DBKK is to reach out to marginalised communities such as several villages in Pulau Gaya through the Kasih Sayang Pulau Gaya Project.

"The project is inspired by the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation of Malaysia, Sabah branch, by bringing free health and clinic services to residents of Kg Kasuapan and its surrounding villages.

"After getting free inspection and treatment, residents will be exposed to information such as recycling practices and the importance of maintaining the environment.

"The Kg Contoh Competition at Pulau Gaya was implemented and provided good results when the village heads were able to get the cooperation and commitment of the villagers to clean and care for their villages.

"This project has been developed with the construction of recycling centers and education centres for children who are not attending school.

"The Kota Kinabalu District Health Office also has an Additional Immunisation Programme for residents who are expected to be implemented soon. I believe through this project it will inspire the villagers to keep their village clean."

Yong said the City's garbage management or solid waste requires a holistic approach where a systematic and effective garbage collection and disposal system is the key to good solid waste management.

"The Madang Wood Timber Basin in Telipok, covering ​​115 acres, received 850 tonnes of waste from five local authorities, namely DBKK, Penampang District Council, Putatan, Tuaran and Kota Belud, said Yong while adding that the practice of recycling and separation of food waste from domestic waste can further increase the life of the landfill.

"The government is also studying and identifying new landfills and landfills in Kayu Madang will be the 'Transfer Station'. In the meantime, DBKK is also working to start recycling and composting activities in Kayu Madang."

Yong said the rapid development experienced by DBKK since being upgraded as a city over the past 17 years has shown a very positive development in terms of physical, infrastructure, economic, social, technological, safety and environmental development.

"In the 11th Malaysia Plan, Kota Kinabalu City has been identified as a growth catalyst city along with three other cities namely Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Kuching. With the increased competitiveness of Kota Kinabalu, it will definitely affect the economic and social sectors of the State of Sabah. - Neil Chan

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