Debris Flow Risk Reduction in Malaysia: From Science-Policy to Multi-Stakeholder Actions
Keywords:Debris flows, disaster risk reduction;, agencies, social-based study
ebris flows remained the deadliest and disastrous geological disasters in Malaysia. The two-decade records from 1995 until 2015 highlighted at least 23 events have occurred regardless of fatalities, and locations. The fatal event was induced by a typhoon recorded in Keningau, Sabah in 1996 with the highest human losses of 302, and economic losses of RM 458.9 million. To date, Malaysia has no dedicated national policy, framework, and standard operating procedure to address this sediment-related disaster in a holistic manner. Moreover, a dedicated, responsible government agency for managing debris flow risk reduction remained elusive. This study aims at providing insights for debris flow disaster risk reduction (DRR) by addressing risk governance, including multi-sectoral agencies roles and responsibilities for different triggering factors, i.e., earthquakes, and intense and prolonged rainfall, and DRR investment towards co-developing an integrated national action plan for reducing current risk, preventing future risk, and strengthening resilience. This study explores various methods to better understand local profiles and suitable methods to assess geological hazard risk processes, activities and impact towards redefining a comprehensive risk assessment method in Malaysia. A case study of recent event in Mesilau watershed induced by the earthquake and rainfall, as a result of 2015 Sabah Earthquake was selected for this study. This study elaborates the significance uses of scientific- and social-based study in promoting science-policy and multi-stakeholders action planning for reducing sediment-based disaster risk in the near future. This includes: (i) the mapping and characterizing the watershed area, (ii) modelling the past debris flow event, and (iii) engaging with the community and stakeholder to gather more local inputs.