Eight permanent relief centres being built in school premises

ALOR SETAR: A total of eight halls are being built in school premises that have often been used as flood relief centres, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the funds to construct the buildings which will act as permanent relief centres will be taken from the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) current allocation and the move was to provide victims with more comfortable facilities.

Without stating the locations of the halls, he said the facility would be managed by the respective schools and it could be used by the school and students during non-flood season.

“Some of the schools often used as relief centres have toilets but they are without shower facilities so these new buildings will have adequate bathing facilities,” he told a press conference after a working visit to Kedah Regional Development Authority (KEDA) headquarters here, today.

He said it is estimated that about 1,000 schools throughout the peninsula are being utilised as relief centres during the flood season.

On the current flood situation in several states, Ahmad Zahid said the relevant agencies are working in coordination to ensure quick response to flood victims’ needs.

Citing an example, he said when he went to Selancar, Rompin recently, there was a road that was cut off, but this was resolved in less than 72 hours with the cooperation of the Royal Army Engineers Regiment and the Public Works Department while the allocation was from NADMA.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said KEDA was facing several problems in developing its small and scattered land banks and in dealing with abandoned properties.

He said, KEDA’s top management would find a way to resolve the issues, especially the abandoned lands so that they could be developed and utilised by the land owners.

“The ministry will help to increase the budget for KEDA in 2024 if the agency can provide justification for new projects, new planning and also a way forward for the agency to continue to drive development in its areas,“ he said. – Bernama