Flood Mitigation Plan

Because of the conversion of six retention ponds meant to contain excess rainwater run-offs during flash floods and severe thunderstorms so that areas in the vicinity of the storm remains high and dry, the KL flood mitigation plan had been disrupted. No thanks to the shortsightedness of the authorities in earmarking these crucial pools for development and allowing these conversions. Without these retention ponds, surrounding areas where flooding occurs is no longer habitable, because the excess water has no where to run to, thus it rises quickly, when the usual outlets are too small to drain them off. What this means is that those poor inhabitants will continuously face anxiety and suffer, each and every time it rains.

I severely doubt the authorities concern has contingency plans, now that the retention ponds had been traded off, other than putting in place sirens to warn residents nearby to evacuate, when the rising water reaches danger level. But does that mean flooding is solved once and for all after spending yet again a huge sum on a simple addressing system? Land is scarce and costly. Thus, to replace one retention pond with another within the vicinity is unlikely. So what else can they offer and who bears the loss? Setting up rescue teams and encouraging developers to build more houses and buildings on stilts? Or should they do the drastic, requiring all new developers to fill up their lands higher than the highest flood level ever recorded in the area before planning permission is given? Or is the national disaster committee only equipped with sampans, meant exclusively for politicians to do their usual recce?

The problem here lies in our system. There is perpetually too much power vested in one individual who is given veto power by law to override collective decisions made. Findings has shown that more than 900 projects had been given planning permissions out of which 60 percent of the projects had already been completed. Which now adds to the glaring damage. Not helped geographically by KL, being one of the only two cities in the world that doesn’t have a seafront so all the water naturally has nowhere to flow to. And if unskilled personnels are still appointed to helm positions that requires expertise, or that those in the know has to follow rules set by those with vested power, our problems will persist.

Besides this, global warming has taken its toil on rising sea levels and that is the reason why Indonesia has to build its new capital elsewhere while Singapore has already put in place their own draining system. We on the other hand is happily clogging up Tasik Kenyir, and acquitting the guilty in our courts of law.

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