Senior government officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and scientific advisors have met with Dutch water experts at a working luncheon hosted by Dutch Ambassador Harry Molenaar to discuss how Dutch expertise can help Malaysian experts to prevent floods and flash floods in Malaysia.
Living in a densely populated delta below sea level, the Dutch have been forced over the centuries to develop extensive knowledge and expertise in finding high quality, sustainable and affordable solutions to protect delta areas and enable delta life and is now keen to share this knowledge with Malaysia.
Together with their Malaysian counterparts, the Dutch experts recently discussed the problems in the different states in Malaysia and they will now identify the most urgent areas, with the hope of developing a strategic approach to mitigating flood risks. The Dutch can offer expertise ranging from designing and building great structures to creating reliable flood early warning systems and flood risk maps.
“Over the last few weeks, Malaysia has experienced an increase in the number of landslides, flash floods and people having to be evacuated due to the extreme weather conditions brought about by the monsoon season. We are sharing our flood mitigation expertise with Malaysia and will see how we can work together on smart infrastructure and drainage in order to prevent floods in the future,” said Ambassador Molenaar.
“The Netherlands has a rapid response team of water engineers – the DRR team – that we can bring to any water related disasters in order to assess most urgent measures and advise on further action to mitigate future risks. We are eager to work with Malaysian authorities and see how we can deploy this team here in Malaysia”, added Molenaar.
The Netherlands position as a low-lying delta with three major rivers makes it both the maritime and water management hub of Europe, while its expertise in flood prevention, water quality and water and land use management is in demand worldwide.
The use of Dutch expertise to manage flood situations has been used includes the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in the United States, the Southern England floods of 2012, and in this region in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Singapore.