“The floods of December 2021 in Malaysia left almost 50 dead, required the evacuation of about 400,000 people, and resulted in an overall estimate of RM6.1 billion in financial losses. Unprecedented volumes of rainfall left areas on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia under almost four meters of water and turned roads into rivers.” (Source: Report ISEAS – YUSOF ISHAK INSTITUTE).
Last Friday 2 September a Dutch Risk Reduction-Team (DRR-Team) from the Netherlands presented the preliminary results on flood mitigation in Malaysia following their two-week mission.
Many countries around the world face severe water threats. And due to climate change and a fast growing world population, these threats are becoming even more urgent. There is a growing need for advise on how to build a sustainable and safer water future. To meet these needs with a swift response, the Dutch government has initiated the DRR-Team. This team of experts advises governments free of charge on how to resolve urgent water issues related to flood risks, waterpollution and water supply. Furthermore, it gives advice on how to prevent calamities or to rebuild after water related disasters.
The DRR-team visited Malaysia between August 22 and September 2 and consisted of five experts, led by team leader Marco Hartman. Marco is a senior consultant Water and Climate and at HKV, and has previously advised in a DRR-Team in Myanmar, Bulgaria and Albania. The team will advise the Malaysian government on developing a strategy for dealing with persistent flooding problems across the country.
“It was a pleasure to work with skilled and motivated Malaysian experts and the DRR team is grateful for their support during field visits and workshops,” Marco Hartman remarked.
The team visited sites at Sabak Bernam district, they had a look at the badly affected Kuala Langat riverside and they looked at Putrajaya wetlands, an example of a successful nature based solution implemented in an urban setting.
The team presented several challenges related to land use planning, data and modelling and the time frame needed for implementation of sustainable long term flood risk management. They also highlighted opportunities to make a start with a pro-active approach in Flood Risk Management.
The DRR team is in the process of preparing a final report that includes possible follow up actions which will be handed over officially to the Ministry of Environment and Water Malaysia at ASIAWATER on the 9th of December.