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City Hall to step up efforts to clear Kota Kinabalu drains
Published on: Wednesday, March 27, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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City Hall to step up efforts to clear Kota Kinabalu drains
A landscaping staff squats down to get a closer look at the run-off collecting in the corners of this Luyang drain, while the concessionaire’s representative looks on.
CITY Hall will step up efforts to clear some drains along a back alley in the central business district of Kota Kinabalu, including those around a bin centre and beneath a pavement nearby.

The agency has also urged the government concessionaire to exercise similar diligence in attending to the frontyard drains in one part of a Luyang neighbourhood, while its Engineering Department (ED) decides whether to have the gradient for these structures rebuilt.

This follows separate feedback from a shop operator on Lorong Bank and a homeowner on Lorong Unta 11 about the nuisance created by the foul smell coming into the premises.

The former suspected that leachate pooling on the road in front of the bin-centre might have given rise to this inconvenience, while the latter was of the opinion that water was stagnating inside the housing drains.

Landscaping workers display the teamwork necessary to clean the drain behind the bin-center on Lorong Bank.

“Leachate” is the stinking liquid which drains from, or “leaches” through, the piles of bagged waste.

Both ratepayers provided Hotline with the location of their respective units which was forwarded to City Hall.

A spokesman for the agency’s Landscaping Department said a team from its Drain Maintenance Unit went to Lorong Bank, not long after it learned about what had been transpiring at the bin-centre.

“Ten of our workers spent a good two hours that afternoon de-sludging the drain which services the bin-centre, as well as the covered one” he said.

 “Such maintenance is carried out at each of our bin-centres in Kota Kinabalu regularly.”

A spokesman for City Hall’s Solid Waste Management Department said there were about 119 bin-centres around the City, with the garbage at all these premises cleared on a daily basis.

“Three quarters of these bin-centres, including the one on Lorong Bank, belong to City Hall,” he said.

“We have a contractor who has been given the responsibility of hosing down our assets once a day, after the bins have been emptied.

“He and his workers pay special attention to getting rid of any traces of leachate from these sites.”

Where Lorong Unta 11 in Taman Southern was concerned, the Landscaping Department spokesman said an inspection was made of the neighbourhood a short time after City Hall was contacted by the media.

“We were made to understand that the level of the water in the roadside drain was high and took a long time to recede even during the present hot weather,” he said.

“A stench was apparently coming from the direction of the drain which led many in the area to believe that the run-off had turned stagnant as it wasn’t being channelled away.”

Action was also taken to clean the drain below this pavement near the bin-centre.

Some of the residents seemed to think that the stagnant water may have contributed to dengue concerns in the neighbourhood, according to him, after a banner on how to prevent Aedes mosquitoes from breeding in the area was put up in the area.

He said landscaping personnel confirmed the drain woes and apprised the government concessionaire of their findings.

One of the company’s workers removed the mud from the base of the drain, shortly thereafter, according to him.

He said, a few days later, a representative from the firm accompanied Landscaping staff on a check of the drainage in this part of the neighbourhood.  

“They discovered that the water in the drain on Lorong Unta 11 was not reaching the outlet because of a gradient-problem.

“The run-off seemed to be collecting at the corner-most sections which were the lowest points of the drain.”

He said the neighbourhood, including the housing drains, was built decades ago and a lot of settlement was sure to have taken place there over the intervening years.

“We have made or Engineering Department aware of these observations.”

The spokesman explained that the concessionaire was responsible for maintaining the drains along the housing roads in the State Capital, while City Hall attended to those behind residences under its jurisdiction.

The former structures were cleaned according to a fixed schedule, with the same being done to the latter once every six months, according to him.

“City Hall workers will try to come in even before the scheduled cleaning, to deal with any complaints involving the back-yard drains.”

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