KOTA KINABALU: The flood mitigation project in Sugud River is set to get underway now that all the preliminary project requirements have been met.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that the project, which would involve dredging and widening the narrow Sugud River, is expected to help reduce flooding in nearby villages.
“Since the river does not have river reserves, the project needs to reclaim nearby lands and be gazetted before the project can begin.
“While waiting for the gazettement, efforts were made to obtain written consent from the landowners involved. Now that the consents have been obtained, the project can begin,” he said.
Aside from land reclamation, the project also included the relocation of Water Department, SESB and TM utilities.
Coordination meetings had been held between the ministry and the agencies and companies involved to ensure that work on site could begin immediately.
Contractors have been directed to start work and the necessary machineries and equipment have been delivered to the site.
“However, deepening the Sugud River is not a comprehensive solution to the flood problem in the area.
“This is because the river’s outlet, the Moyog River, also requires dredging and widening to accommodate flood water from the Sugud catchment area during heavy rains.
“Nevertheless, the Sugud River project will accelerate the flow of flood water and reduce the depth of flood water in the school area and surrounding villages,” he said.
Kitingan said the flood problem in the Sugud area will not be resolved until Phase 4 of the Moyog River Integrated River Basin Development Project is completed.
“Funding for the project has been approved through the Off-Budget, and work will begin early next year,” he said.