City Hall going all out to clean drain reserves
Published on: Friday, November 25, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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City Hall going all out to clean drain reserves
Left: City Hall workers clearing the weeds and grass from the backyard drain in Dah Yeh Villa. Right: Landscaping staff working hard to clean the drain at the side of the Dah Yeh Villa house.
CITY HALL has intensified efforts to maintain the drain reserves in neighbourhoods where dengue cases have been reported. 

Rate-payers in these areas have also been warned that they could wind up losing any trees or vegetables planted outside their backyard fences, if they failed to tend to their property regularly and allowed this greenery to become overgrown.

A spokesman for the City Hall’s Landscaping Department said the growing number of dengue patients around the State Capital had prompted the agency to take a serious view to the unkempt backyard reserves within its rating area.

“The overgrown greenery does not only hinder the efforts of our staff to clear the backyard drains but, worse still, Aedes mosquitoes might be breeding among these plants,” he said.

The overgrown greenery in the midst of being chopped down from this reserve in Taman Indah Permai.

“Because of this, we are urging homeowners to be more diligent when it comes to dealing with any greenery being cultivated in the common areas.”

He said flyers to this affect would be circulated around properties in which the residents had contracted dengue.

“Rate-payers in these places will be given the opportunity to tidy up the reserves and tend to their plants,” he said.

“Should they fail to do so, then notices will be served to those staying near this unkempt greenery.” He said the agency would not hesitate to chop down their trees and uproot their plants, if these individuals still did not comply.

“By right, rate-payers are not supposed to occupy the reserves as this is government land.

“However, allowance is given for the public to do some gardening here as these efforts contribute to the overall beautification of the City.”

Nevertheless, the spokesman said, the onus was on “the gardeners” to look after their greenery. 

The spokesman said City Hall was responsible for attending to the backyard reserves around the State Capital.

“The grass on this land is cut on a monthly basis. Any trees in the common areas, which were planted by us, are pruned as and when it becomes necessary to do so.”

He said a 10-man team from the Department recently removed the overgrown greenery from the backyard reserves in Taman Indah Permai, in Manggatal, and weeds in a drain in one part of Dah Yeh Villa in Luyang.

Members of the Drain-clearing Unit attend to this drain in Taman Indah Permai.

“Our Drain-clearing Unit also desilted the drains in these neighbourhoods, as well as at Taman Megah in Kolombong.”

He said the action in Taman Indah Permai and Taman Megah was taken as part of “Ops Bersepadu Menangani Wabak Dengue (Joint Operation to Fight Dengue)” between City Hall and the Kota Kinabalu Health Office.

KERVIN, who owns a corner lot in the Dah Yeh Villa area, said the drain behind his house appeared to be poorly maintained.

“It has not been cleared in some time and is full of sediment,” he said.

He said the grass on either side of the drain was also overgrown.

He suspected that the water in the drain might be stagnating as a foul smell occasionally wafted over from the direction of the structure.

“We have to keep the windows towards the back of house closed to prevent the stink from coming indoors. “I dare not even sun my clothes in my yard because the smell will stick to my laundry.” Kervin said he had also noticed an increase in the number of mosquitoes buzzing about his home and feared that these insects had made a habitat in the drain. 

“One of my neighbours reported this problem to City Hall but, so far, no action has been taken to clear the drains.

“I appeal to the local authorities to do something about the drainage here as soon as possible before a massive dengue outbreak happens.

“There is no point fogging after dengue cases are reported if preventative measures, such as dealing with the drainage problem, are not going to be implemented.” 

The spokesman refuted the rate-payer’s suggestion about the lack of maintenance carried out on the backyard drain, saying that it was cleaned last week and on September 1.

“Our staff noted, during a preliminary inspection, that the drain was not clogged even though weeds had formed inside, he said. 

“Nevertheless, this greenery was removed and the structure was still de-silted when the Drain-clearing Unit went in on November 14.”

He said Landscaping workers also attended to the drain at the side of the house.

“This was done to ensure that run-off inside was still being channelled away as it should.”

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