Like yesterday once more in P’pang
Published on: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
By: Stefyanie Myla Micheal, Jimmy Goh, Oswald Supi
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Steel obstructing river flow
Kota Kinabalu: Predawn heavy rain and thunderstorms again caused several areas in the district and surrounding areas to be flooded with the water level reaching dangerous levels in some places.

Among the affected areas were Kolombong, Inanam, Lido market and Menggatal.

The Civil Defense Force in a statement said continuous rain overwhelmed the district’s drainage system.

A spokesman said the water level at Sungai Moyog was at 9.09 metres at 4pm, which had breached the danger level of nine metres.

“A total of 15 villages namely Kg Sugud, Kg Kibabaig, Kg Mogonibung, Kg Kohizan, Kg Inobong, Kg Dunghakang, Kg Kolopis, Kg Nambazan, Kg Dabak, Penampang Proper, Kg Kambau, Kg Nampasan, Kg Tanak, Kg Hungab and Donggongon town as well as nine roads were flooded.

“St Michael was also affected, but so far no evacuation centre has been opened,” it said.

The Penampang Police District Headquarters (IPD) was partly submerged again, the fifth time by this year.

The situation at 11am on Tuesday saw the entire IPD area flooded until the calves. It receded little in the afternoon.

The floodwaters continued to rise for several hours even after the rain stopped raising concern among residents who demanded the relevant departments, especially the Drainage and Irrigation Department, to find out the answers.

Aerial view of Penampang yesterday.

It was the latest in a series of floods to have struck the district in less than a month.  

 One resident said the water near the Sigah Roundabout started to rise at 3.37pm long after the rain had stopped.

 “The rain stopped in the morning but the water started to rise despite there being no rain in the afternoon,” he said.

 Another resident believes the current condition of the Moyog River was a possible factor contributing to the floods in low-lying areas in the district.

 “We didn’t have this 30 to 40 years ago, but now the river is filled with logs and sand,” he said.

 He said the presence of houses built along the riverbanks could have also aggravated the situation.

 “We want the relevant authorities to look into deepening the Moyog River,” he said. It is understood that the river also flows through Sugud Maang.

Also affected was the Lido Market with water starting to rise at about 3am. The floodwaters reached their peak at 5am turning the market into a little Venice. The water only started to recede by 7am.

 On Sept 15, flash floods brought mud, debris and logs to one of Penampang’s worst hit villages, Kg Kanaapan Kodou in Sugud. That flood left cars and more than 1,000 houses flooded or destroyed.

 The residents there lament that there was also no sign of the much publicised RM1,000 aid from the Government, apart from that rendered by NGOs and kind hearted individuals.

Fed up residents are pinning blame for the sixth flood in Penampang this year on the Pan Borneo project.

  A resident of Kg Dungkahang Dahab said this was even stated by Senator John Ambrose  and the video is still found in youtube.

 He said what was depressing to Dungkahang residents is that every time there is a flood report from the District Secretariat for Natural Disaster,  the village is left out as if it does not exist.

The Moyog needs dredging.

 Early Tuesday, the flood waters rose very fast up to 4 ft from Penampang proper ground level as reference. Since the flood now rose during daytime, people were able to fly drones to check out what is causing the floods.

 The major location is the bridge construction near Monsopiad Cultural village where the construction method choked the river with an earth embankment with added sheet piles to stop river bank erosion.  

 Sadly most of the sheet piles appears in the middle of the river now and constricts and restricts free flow of the river back to the sea as clearly seen in photos viralled in social media, he said.

Other proof by a resident at Kg Kionggu shows a culvert simply placed under the earth embankment and not following the original natural stream.  

 The outlet is now about 15 meters from the stream and pouring onto private land. The resident asked who is responsible for connecting this culvert outlet back to the stream.

 He said his land may be cut through without any compensation as the land was not part of Pan Borneo project.

 He said Works Minister Datuk Bung Moktar should tell this project implementer to correct the errors fast before the road is sealed as it is still easier to dig out the culvert. 

 “I heard multi lawsuits are on the way due to the haphazard way this project is being implemented.”

 Another resident of Kg Donok, adjacent to Kionggu found his access road is made worse by the project where a culvert has disappeared and the road simply blocked the entrance of the bigger highway culverts.

 Another land owner found his hill has been cut more than what was declared in the land acquisition for the construction of a temporary site office and the slope now has a landslide.  He expects the project contractor to rectify and make good the slope before leaving the site or face a lawsuit.

 The villagers claim there’s ample proof to show that their senator was correct when he blamed Pan Borneo for the floods. 

 “As of 6pm the water level was still 3 ft deep showing very slow discharge of water in the blocked Moyog river,” he said.


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