Traders in Donggongon town in Penampang, Sabah, are urging the district council to clean stagnant water in drains, which is causing an unpleasant smell.
Warisan Kepayan Action Force (WaKaf) representative Sonnie Hamdin said traders had complained that their business had been affected by the situation.
“Residents go to Donggongon to shop at the mall and market, as well as to eat in restaurants and stalls.
“A restaurant owner, who operates near a drain, complained that he had received fewer customers as they could not stand the smell from the drain.”
WaKaf, a non-governmental organisation, said the district council had not been consistent in keeping the drain clean.
It said the local authority should deal with problems faced by Penampang residents, particularly traders.
Penampang District Council’s service department head Kamal Ismail said the complaints were valid, adding the district office was doing its best to clean dirty drains based on a schedule.
“We have 264 drains in housing areas, 22 drains in industrial areas, and 64 drains in commercial areas.
“The district council has received many complaints, but we are facing a shortage of manpower.
“We have only two staff from the drainage cleaning division and we have added another two staff from the grass cleaning division to help with the matter.
“Even so, we are unable to cope with the work load.
“It’s not true to say the district council is not doing anything.
“We do cleaning based on complaints. If there is a new one, we will respond to it, but we have to follow the queue,” he said.
Kamal said he had applied for additional workers and proposed to appoint a subsidiary company to handle drain cleaning.
“This will be up to the management (to approve).
“At the same time, we urge people to keep their surroundings clean and not to throw rubbish indiscriminately.
“It’s compulsory for restaurants to use a filter when disposing of grease.
“I hope operators will follow the standard operating procedure and keep their surroundings clean.”