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DID and DBKK clearing drains in Taman Sepanggar
Published on: Wednesday, November 16, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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 DID and DBKK clearing drains in Taman Sepanggar
Lorong Buah Mempelam 3C and the homes in this part of Manggatal were partly submerged under flood waters once in October and again in November.
THE Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and City Hall have stepped in to try and mitigate the flood woes in Taman Sepanggar Phase 2 by separately dealing with a large drain in the KKIP-North area and the smaller ones around the neighbourhood.

Water from the latter structures has twice overflowed into the compounds of homes on Lorong Buah Mempelam 3C, over the past month and a half. This most recently occurred on November 5. 

Landscaping staff performing preventive maintenance on the front yard drains in Taman Sepanggar Phase 2.

One homeowner is under the impression that these problems might be due to the lack of maintenance carried out on the large drain, a section of which can be seen from the end of his housing road.

He suspected that the base of the drain might be caked with mud as evidenced by the islands of water vegetation which had formed inside.

A DID spokeswoman said an excavator had been deployed to facilitate efforts to desilt the drain.

“The contractor tasked with doing this is presently near the Malaysian Agricultural Research Development Institute (MARDI), off Jalan 3 KKIP Selatan,” she said on November 15.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, including sudden changes in the weather, he tentatively expects to begin dredging the section at Taman Sepanggar Phase 3 sometime next week.”

A member of the Drain Clearing Unit rakes away the debris near the outlet from the housing drains to the large one.

She said the Department’s personnel checked on the condition of this drain in the first week of October.

“They noted that weeds covered most of the space inside and the reserve land on either side was overgrown.

“The drain was last cleaned in June while the grass on the shoulders was last cut in August.

“The heavy rains which have fallen, on and off, since then are likely to have caused the vegetation to spring up faster than before.”

When asked how often the agency’s monsoon drains were cleaned, the spokeswoman said there was no fixed schedule for this work.

“We try to have our drains outside the city-limits cleaned annually. 

“If our budget permits, this may be performed once more in that same year.” 

She said the DID’s drains in the State Capital were generally attended to between three to four times annually.

The spokeswoman said structural maintenance was conducted when it was deemed necessary.

A City Hall spokesman said a six-man team from its Drain-Clearing Unit carried out some “preventive maintenance” on the roadside drains where the homeowner lived.

“This was done on a humanitarian basis as part of our ‘Ops Banjir (Flood Operation)’ on November 10,” he said.

“Our Landscaping staff couldn’t understand why the front-yard drains had overflowed in the first place as none of these structures were blocked.”

They theorised that the run-off might be collecting in the drains along Lorong Buah Mempelam 3C due to a “backflow” problem, according to him.

“This happens when the level of the water in the large, main drain exceeds that in the housing drains.”

He said action to clean the roadside drains was done on compassionate grounds as these structures were supposed to be maintained by the government concessionaire.

The DID contractor uses an excavator to desilt the large drain in the KKIP-North area.

“We had earlier invited the management to participate in this ‘gotong-royong (community clean up)’.”

The spokesman explained that the backyard drains, under City Hall’s jurisdiction, were cleaned once every month, or once every two months.

The common drains at the back of homes along Lorong Buah Mempelam 3C were last attended to on November 4, according to him.

The spokesman explained that the agency had stepped-up drain-clearing efforts in the more flood-prone locations within its rating-area as part of the “Ops” which began three months ago.

“The Operation was launched in anticipation of the inclement weather which the Kota Kinabalu was due to experience with the onset of the North East Monsoon season in November.”

The Meteorological Department forewarned the public last month to expect unexpected gales, choppy waves and intense rainfall during the Monsoon phase which lasts till March 2023.

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