Floods in Kuching: Is the Barrage any use?


Update on the floods:

Kuching flood background here.

Background to the role of the Kuching Barrage here. Note that many people dispute the effectiveness of the barrage, calling it a useless project.

CM Taib Mahmud did not make any statement on the Kuching floods at all. Instead, he was more interested in celebrating his golden wedding anniversary. How not to conclude that the CM is out of touch and beyond his use-by date? See his birthday party details here.

Businesses were badly affected by floods. See details here.

As for George Chan, he is of the view that Kuching folk need not worry anymore since the floods are over. But damage has been done. Here is another politician who appears to be out of touch.  See his view here.

Kuching and surrounding areas have been hit by floods, which has now receded. The Sarawak river overflowed its banks and water poured into the city. Floods also occurred in Sibu, Bintulu and the gold-mining town of Bau.

My friend over there says, tongue-in-cheek, that it was caused by an “act of God”.

More seriously, he thinks any combination of the following factors could be responsible for the flooding: heavy rainfall, high tide, historical factors such as poor planning of city buildings in the flood-prone plain.

Global warming too?

All “made worse by the useless barrage project which was supposed to control floods but which does not. Just a project for cronies”.

Another Sarawak resident claims that with the barrage, the water from the upstream to the sea is slowed down. “It is very complicated as the government says the barrage is not to be blamed but many persons-on-the street seem to think so.” For a sample of what Sarawakians are saying, check out Sarawak Talk.

Another possible factor, he adds, is the causeway across the Muara Tebas.

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BARRAGE NOT BUILT TO PREVENT FLOOD, BUT IT BUILT TO CONTROL MOVEMENT OF EXCESSIVE VOLUME OF WATER!!!!!!!! The Sarawak River Barrage has been instrumental in reducing the impact of flooding in some parts of the city. “The flood scenario in some low-lying areas could have been worse if not for the barrage,” said a spokesperson from Kuching Barrage Management Sdn Bhd. “Based on the rainfall data collected in the past few days, many low-lying areas in Kuching would have been flooded but were spared as the barrage has been able to control the floodwaters. “In areas where there are floods,… Read more »


seriously …. i was very pissed off when i saw the water slowly seeped into my house. why didn’t people talk about the condition in sarawak? i can only lament on our people’s reticence. where is our freedom of speech?! **** those chowderheads (referring to our freaking corrupted head(s) of government)!!

i cannot believe that the barrage is of no use to our ppl AT ALL. how delusional.


Check out this site http://www.did.sarawak.gov.my/flood/hflood97-02.html …. then justify whether the barrage made any use … (note: The Barrage was completed on Aug 1998) …


As to my understanding, the barrage is a component of the master plan for flood mitigation measures for the Sungai Sarawak water catchment. It is effective in preventing the king tide from coming and prevent flash flood to a certain extend.


This is the result of cutting down the forest in Sarawak. Rain water is dumped into the rivers. Taib Mahmud is (allegedly) the cause of the flood.

Anak Kuching

Many comments both official and unoffical have been made each time there is a flood in Kuching. The 2009 flood was it as bad as the last one in 2004? Perhaps just as bad but the media didn’t highlight some of the areas as intensly this time like they did in 2004. Was it due to the fact it was supposed to be a happy week for Sarawakians on the 50th wedding anniversary of the state’s chief? I have heard of floods in the same areas as before. Locals blame it ignorantly or otherwise on the barrage and causeway across… Read more »


My goodness, did the authorities really sell the barrage project as a flood control measure ? What fools they really take us to be…

Barrages are used in various places around the world to raise the level of a river upstream of the barrage, to make it more useful for boats or shipping , channel part of the water for irrigation or hydro-electric power. A barrage, by definition, is a free-flowing barrier across the river, has no effect on the nett amount of water flowing through it, hence has absolutely no use for flood mitigation.

Sarawak Lover

Exactly the barrage is useless


i need to learn more about this flood cause Kuching is my hometown.. The only fact that i know is that the Kampung villages there are flooded badly


The barrage is totally useless. It’s nothing but an (alleged) scam to enrich the … cronies. The story making the round is, the barrage was built to prevent the level of the Sarawak river from going down during low tide. (The story making the rounds is that a certain leader’s) Indonesian bomoh advised him that his fung shui will be better if the river bed is not too exposed. His mansion is (near the river).