Construction of PPKB will improve country’s disaster management efficiency

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30: The proposed construction of permanent disaster relief centres (PPKB) is able to improve the efficiency of country’s disaster management by making it more systematic and centralised, according to an expert.

Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Perlis Dr Zulkarnain Hassan said PPKB is critical, particularly in areas prone to frequent natural disasters like floods.

“PPKB should have a variety of facilities that are conducive, unlike temporary relief centres, where flood victims are required to share space and facilities with the school,” he told Bernama.

The proposed facilities include accommodation, toilets, a prayer room, a laundry area, a kitchen, and a dining space.

Sharing the same sentiment, lecturer at the Faculty of Technology and Electronic and Computer Engineering of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka Associate Professor Dr Mohd Riduan Ahmad, who described the proposal as practical, given that several states are often hit by floods during the monsoon season.

However, he said that the construction of the PPKB should take into account a number of factors, including diversifying its usage and regular maintenance of permanent infrastructure at the centres after the flood season.

“The materials used for the construction of the centres are also important, and I believe that using prefabricated buildings would be more practical,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Ecological Society president Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail said that PPKB should be built for many functions so that it can be used throughout the year.

“A study needs to be carried out to ensure that the PPKB does not only provide shelter to flood victims but can also be used for other purposes related to the environment,” he said.

Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that PPKB would be established immediately, with the pilot project to begin in nine states.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the PPKB involves a ceiling cost of RM5 million for each centre and is set to provide better protection for flood victims than temporary relief centres.