Thursday, May 19, 2022

Over RM300 billion needed for long-term flood management, says environment minister

The proposed long-term solutions will be implemented in phases for 50 years.

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Over RM300 billion is needed for the proposed long-term solutions to flood problems nationwide to be implemented in phases for 50 years, Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said today.

He said this included projects to develop water infrastructures such as flood mitigation systems, construction of embankments as well as the prevention of coastal erosion.

“The ministry believes that through the proposed short- and long-term solutions, we can at least minimise the impact of floods in terms of property damage or loss of lives,” he said during the briefing on long-term flood management at the special meeting of the Dewan Rakyat.

Among the proposed long-term solutions, he said, was to strengthen the governance of climate change adaption in the water sector through the formulation of the Water Sector Adaptation Act by taking into account the need to increase the level of protection of the country’s drainage and coastal infrastructures.

Under this act, the ministry would propose the setting up of a special fund or trust fund to increase the adaptive capacity of the water sector and coastal areas through the development and maintenance of infrastructure that takes into account climate change factors.

Tuan Ibrahim said other measures include the development of a National Adaptation Centre to coordinate policies and the implementation of climate change adaptation, integration of disaster risks and prevention of loss and damage due to the effects of climate change involving vulnerable sectors.

“Other measures are to increase the capacity of floodwater reservoirs through the implementation of riverside reservoirs projects and dams for flood mitigation and water resources purposes, and the use of nature-based solutions such as the construction of river trails as a platform for community involvement in river protection, cleaning and conservation activities,” he said.

In facing future challenges, Tuan Ibrahim said the ministry was also open to learning from the experience of other countries in flood management.

For example, he said, the Netherlands had offered to send a Dutch Risk Reduction team to Malaysia to assess the impact of floods in the country and propose appropriate solutions.

“The ministry is in discussions with various parties to make this collaboration a success,” he said.

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