The gloomy sky is depressing Sibuians' hearts. The yellowish Rajang River seems to be sobbing together with the suffering folks.
Jalan Central - The Bomba Station srands tall in the water.
Almost the whole of Jalan Pedada is flooded to knee-high.
Foochow Lane - The building looks so pathetic in the water.
Jalan Tiong Hua.
The entire Foochow Lane is submerged in water.
In all honesty, flood is a natural phenomenon. Although climatic conditions and atmospheric changes contribute to it, human factors like environment-unfriendly developments and administrative laxity aggravate the havoc.
Flooding is certainly not new in Sibu, but it is obviously worsening and becoming a lot more frequent. In short, flood hits are much more perennial in Sibu now.
Decades-long environmentally destructive activities going on upstream and the climatic changes are chiefly the causes of it. As a result, Rajang River is badly silted up, making the river a lot shallower now. Consequently, Rajang River overflows much more easily, making Sibu a flood-prone town. Combined with the poor drainage system, flooding has long become a nightmare here.
Dredging was proposed last year to mitigate the perennial flooding, but it was refuted outright, saying damming is the only workable solution. Dredging has since been labelled a "taboo", not to be openly commented in the local press.
The local folks are certainly not expert in flood treatment. But common sense and logical thinking tell them that if Rajang River is left undredged, then in just 5-10 years from now, the proposed dam would be insufficient to hold back the much greater overflows from the river as a result of the continuous build-up of silt.
Greater intelligence needs to be exercised in working out a flood mitigation plan for the best interersts of Sibuians. For all the power vested in the politicians, they owe the folks here an honourable duty to do it right.
I went up to the rooftop of Premier Hotel to photoshoot the flooding scenes of Sibu with Meng Lei (http://www.mengleiwong.blogspot.com/ ) this morning. We spent a good time up to forty minutes to snap all the surrounding scenes. Truly, seeing the horrendous flooding conditions, we sighed as we clicked along.
Jalan Lanang - The conditions are bad, too.