IT'S RAINING CATS AND DOGS. On the east coast the warnings have gone out. The rivers have reached their danger levels. A friend at Kuala Trengganu barely mentioned of the coconut trees in his yards shaking in the wind and the next moment heavy incessant rainfall floods the plains and the lowlands in Perlis and Kedah. A picture of a rice storage barn called 'jelapang' ironically has become a victim and it appeared on the front page of a local newspaper.Had it stored its old content, it would be a loss indeed. Sadly 'jelapang' are no more. Those remaining would be hard to come by. Ironically does it harbor a forbidding calamity?
Still heavy rain would bring disaster in many ways, Yet this is a perennial affair. Just as people in Kelantan once took to the flood waters, rejoicing at its occurrence, authorities seems to awake when they are drenched, sounding the danger alarm, moving the boats along the highway, initiating school buildings as relief centers etc. Can't we wake up to the realities and do the necessary during dry season and stop gallivanting during this time of the year?
No we prefer last minute surprises for its aura and news worthy pull.
Flood disaster alarm hit Perlis and Kubang Pasu and Kota Star on 3 November. Only a day of continuing rain and in the late afternoon its evacuation for all. Very immediate. The rest of the story is told over the TV and local newspapers. We were hit. Time was just sufficient to move the heavy furniture. Many others did not have that luxury.
Will we continue to see a repeat as we have seen in 2005/6 and now 2010? Will we continue to dole cash, equipment and energy again after each flood? Will we continue to clean and clear the rubbish after each flood? Become poorer for all that have to be replaced?
Why? Why? No solution to it all during the long dry season? Why the waterways,rivers and canals never get clean, deepen and cleared? Why developments etc never get the full attention during the sparing dry season less they hinder flow and allow congestion? Why are road and highways constructed much higher than the surrounding kampong land and the drainage by their sides only meant for surface water from the road? Now don't deny that the double tracking of Keretapi Tanah Melayu under construction from Ipoh to Padang Besar does not contribute to farther seriousness?
Or are we too tired having spent cleaning all the debris etc after each flood season that we need to take a long rest? Or are we too rich to throw much ringgit to the tune of millions come the flood waters? Certainly it is luxurious for committees set up after the disaster to spend money for assistance!
Noted while at Mekkah 9 Nov 2010