KOTA TINGGI, March 2 — The government has channelled RM10 million to the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to purchase necessities and provide additional assistance for flood victims in Johor.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the immediate allocation was to ensure adequate equipment at temporary relief centres (PPS) as the number of victims continues to rise.
“I was informed that there is a shortage of blankets, pillows and mattresses. Therefore, the Nadma Director-General has asked district officers to purchase these items immediately, and the money will be disbursed to the District Disaster Management Committees as soon as possible,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Central Disaster Management Committee chairman, told reporters this after visiting the PPS at SJK(C) New Kota here today.
Also present was Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he would also ask Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri to mobilise Social Welfare Department’s staff to address manpower shortages at PPS and flood-affected areas.
Meanwhile, he said climate change, global warming and extraordinary rainfall were among the factors that caused the floods in Johor this time, making it the worst since the 2006 disaster.
These factors also caused the water level of the main rivers in the state, including Sungai Johor, to rise rapidly.
Therefore, the government needs to take several steps towards ensuring that the major floods in the state do not recur, including expediting the long term-measure for flood mitigation plans in risky locations.
“The most important thing is to widen and deepen rivers as overflowing is what causes the floods. So we need to speed up mitigation projects in several districts in Johor.
“Although there are financial constraints, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy have certain methods to realise the plan,” Ahmad Zahid said, adding the government has allocated RM7.6 million as an immediate measure to improve the drainage system in this district.