KOTA KINABALU: Kapayan Assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi has urged the government to be sensitive to the plight of the people when undertaking the construction of the Pan Borneo highway.
Bosi said so many people living along this on-going construction of the highway have been badly affected by frequent flooding.
"These are the people who continue to live along this highway as their houses were not subjected to compulsory acquisition by the Government to make way for the highway."
Bosi, who is Parti Anak Negeri Chief Coordinator for Penampang, said he met one such resident named Ho at her home in Kg Maang, about four kilometres from Donggongon township.
According to her, the frequent flooding has made life miserable. Ho is coping by herself after her husband passed away two years ago.
Their home furniture, small engineering workshop, vegetable garden, nursery and fish ponds were completely destroyed by the flood. Her house is fronting the highway.
Bosi said the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway is well and good but the government must also see that the people do not suffer unnecessarily.
"I am shocked and saddened to see that there is no concrete drain along the new highway in Kg Maang.
"The present drain is not only small but also already clogged with vegetation at many spots.
I strongly believe that Ho's problem may be resolved if there is a big concrete drain to discharge the water from her area. "
Bosi added that the reclamation and construction of a commercial housing such as Park Residence nearby has already added to her flooding problem.
"It is good to see more commercial housing in Kg Maang but the drainage system must be properly put in place first. I call on the Penampang District Council to be extra strict on this matter."
Bosi said the government which claims to be people-friendly should not wait for the affected people to make complaints but should be pro-active, go out and hear the grievances of the people, including providing compensation to property lost due to the floods caused by the construction of the highway.