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Expect higher Penampang flood level
Published on: Sunday, March 19, 2023
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The river diversion in Terawi.
IT HAS been hot and dry for more than a week now, everyone especially the government have as expected forgotten about Penampang floods. 

Let Penampangites be warned, the next time it rains as heavily as the flood in February, the flood level will be almost double.

Reason: Drainage and Irrigation Department or DID has completed diverting the flow of Moyog River to the Putatan outlet on 27 February leaving only about 10pc flow through a concrete gate at Terawi to keep the Mahandoi-Kodundungan-Petagas outlet alive as per the Flood Mitigation Plan.

The purpose it to keep flood level of the Kodundungan padi plains low so Donggongon Town, Siga roundabout, Kg Hungab and surrounding areas will be saved from floods and/or faster drainage to the sea via Petagas.

All is well and good, provided, the Terawi-Putatan river outlet is completed as per DID’s original mitigation plan.

However a recent visit shows only about one kilometer downstream of Terawi bridge has been widened that a friend who lives nearby thinks a lake is being constructed. 



Blockages at the area below Terawi bridge.

Further downstream the river is fully silted and narrowed by development and many old bridges designed to cross streams rather than the river width of Moyog. The progress of this flood mitigation phase here is moving at a snails space that its doubtful if it can be completed in two years, hence another minimum of two years of floods in Penampang.

I am sure the government never run out of excuses, yea yea no allocations, high tide levels, abnormal rainfall intensity, all we have heard before.

There are plenty of obstructions in widening this Putatan River including buildings and graveyards at the river banks, and old bridges that will take years to replace, all of which the government simply cannot do anything.

The replacement bridge for Terawi is abandoned. 

A local informed the well connected BB contractor seemed to have no clue how to build the bridge, the round concrete columns are honeycombed (full of holes) and the sheet piles are now blocking the river flow causing a damning effect as shown in the photo 2.

DID engineers please explain how the existing Putatan River will cater for the flood waters coming from these major catchments via Sugud, Limbanak, the hills from Nambazan to Inobong and Putaton, Babagon then the major upper Moyog itself. You guys are not the only people who have studied Hydraulics, Hydrology and open channel flows. 

Being a flood victim, I have been observing flood levels in Penampang and Donggongon for 60 years and inspecting the river from Inobong down to the two outlets after every horrible floods and have seen all kinds of flow obstructions especially man-made. 

A former MP has already acknowledged me as the flood expert.

Since time immemorial the Moyog River has always drained to the sea via Kodundungan-Petagas with the Putatan draining about a quarter of the flow. 

Until DID can turn the Putatan stream into a full river, why do you have to block the flow totally at Terawi?

Another disadvantage of the total blockage is that fishing boats from Petagas can no longer go upstream up to Monsopiad and Kuai to sell their catch. 

Also the much awaited Tourism Decorated Raft rides and boat rides from Monsopiad to the scenic sunset of Kodundungan can no longer be carried out.

Can you drainage engineers considered by just narrowing the river sufficent for rafts and boats to pass through while 80pc of the flow can go to Putatan??

For now, Penampang people especially villages along the river, just be prepared for the next high level, slow receding floods until Putatan outlet is fully opened.

Meanwhile GRS government still has not explain what happened to the RM1000 compensation to flood victims after the Sugud flood disaster. 

It is common knowledge only a list of party cronies received it including those whose houses are built on the hills.

Flood victim/Activist

Penampang


- The views expressed here are the views of the writer's and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]



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