He said the move could deepen the river, which was becoming increasingly shallow due to upriver sand deposits unleashed by an earthquake in 2015.
“Flash floods rarely occurred in Kota Belud previously. But after the earthquake, flash floods often occur as the river is getting increasingly shallower due to heavy sand deposits from upstream.
“The government will identify capable contractors to co-operate with a state government-owned company to dredge the river sand,” he told reporters after visiting flood victims in the district today.
Also present were Sabah Community Development and People’s Well-being Minister Shahelmey Yahya, State Secretary Datuk Safar Untong and Usukan State Assemblyman Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.
Commenting further, Hajiji said the contractors who secured the tenders to deepen Sungai Kota Belud would be given permission to export sand.
Meanwhile, he urged flood victims housed at relief centres (PPS) to comply with all the standard operating procedures (SOP) set to curb the spread of COVID-19.