KOTA KINABALU, Oct 10 — Sabahans have been urging the authorities to closely monitor mega construction projects, especially the Pan Borneo Highway, to ensure they do not become the cause of disasters.

When met by Bernama today, residents affected by the floods here and in Tuaran said they welcome the implementation of infrastructure projects but, at the same time, hoped that the contractors involved would comply with the rules and work specifications set to avoid disasters.

A resident of Kampung Ketiau, Putatan, Suit Mahali, 76, said the village had never been hit by floods, but the situation changed when the Pan Borneo Highway construction project started in the nearby area around two to three years ago.

The government retiree said that based on his observation as a native of the village, the drainage system started to get clogged after the project was implemented, causing water to overflow.

“We very much welcome the Pan Borneo Highway and believe that this project will benefit the people, but we hope that the parties involved can ensure that this project does not cause flooding,” he said.

As of September 5, the Pan Borneo Highway Project in Sabah has reached 65 per cent completion, and the government, through Budget 2023, aims to complete the project by 2024.

Continuous heavy rain yesterday evening caused several locations around the west coast of Sabah, especially in the Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran and Penampang districts, to be flooded, with 43 people from 13 families evacuated in Penampang as of 8 am today.

Another resident, Rosli Hamid, 49, said he noticed that water started to overflow into his house at about 11 pm and that it was the first incident since he lived in the area about 10 years ago.

“I think the government needs to speed up the construction of a new river near this village so that water no longer overflows into people’s houses,” said the mechanic.

A trader, Norbert Jadi, 50, who lives in Taman Telipuk Ria, Tuaran, said that the flood on several roads along Inanam, Menggatal and Tuaran was getting worse, causing many vehicles to be stranded.

“Drainage ditches were clogged up and not functional. We hope the contractor and authorities pay attention to this matter,” he said. — Bernama