The Brunei Flood

MOD officials went up the helicopter to take a look at all the areas that are affected. Aerial views give a better perspective of the area and the solutions required. This one is an older photo of the flood of 21st January recently. This one photo is of the Ban areas.

Historically Ban areas are meant to be the food basket of Brunei to be used as a padi plantation area. In fact the word 'ban' comes from the English 'bunds' which are pathways built along the edges of the padi fields. These bunds over the years become roads and padi fields become housing estates. Housings developed rapidly but unfortunately infrastructures does not get built as fast and hence at the moment only canals are in the process of being built.

In most cases, the canals are supposedly according to design sufficient to handle normal heavy rainwaters. But extra heavy La Nina rainwaters like what's happening at the moment completely inundate the drainage systems. Add the extra high tide, hence the floods we saw last time. The PWD or JKR has to expedite the next step which is to build retention ponds similar to the ones in the perpindahan at Berakas Burong Pingai. During heavy rains all the water will be channeled to the ponds and released to the river. But in the Ban areas, one pond will not be sufficient. A series of them have to be built and thus finding suitable areas in a built up area like the Ban areas make it harder. Some private lands will have to be acquired. Estimates ranged around $55 million for this project.

The other flood prone areas are what is known as the Tutong Plains. Flooding was essential to the farmers in the older days as the padi fields and other agricultural products need water. Flooding provided the water needed without much efforts. But today most farming has more or less stop, farmlands turned to housing estates, flooding becomes a nuisance and an annoyance. I was at Tanjong Maya this morning and the river has completely gone over its banks. Tutong Plains is a bit harder to resolve compared to the Ban areas but the PWD is working on it.


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