SLOPEWATCH, a programme run by residents of Bukit Antarabangsa to monitor slopes in their area, is gaining popularity.
Communities from as far as Sabah are asking the residents for advice on starting up their own programmes.
Programme chairman Abdul Razak Bahrom said although SlopeWatch started in May 2009, it was only this year that the programme really picked up its pace following Ampang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPAJ) involvement.
“We are now in the midst of coming up with a standard operating procedure with MPAJ on the steps to report slope-related problems,” Abdul Razak said in a press conference after MPAJ donated RM3,000 to SlopeWatch for its activities like exhibitions and awareness programmes.
SlopeWatch is a programme under the Coalition of Bukit Antarabangsa Residents Association (CoBARA). On an average they receive two calls a week by residents who noticed problems in their area.
“We visit the problematic site after the call, get the details and report it to the authorities. The usual problems are broken drains and water gushing out of unexpected locations such as holes in the ground,” Abdul Razak said.
CoBARA chairman Shahrul Hafiz Teh Abdullah said that MPAJ already have a standard set of procedures when dealing with such problems and SlopeWatch’s procedures will be in sync with theirs.
“The procedures we are setting up will also contain standards for respond time, period for action taken and such. All will be in line with MPAJ’s existing procedures,” Shahrul said.
Shahrul said the procedures and right mechanism need to be made public so people will know what to do when caught in such a situation.
Hesaid currently CoBARA represents about 4,500 residents from eight out of the 17 housing estates in Bukit Antarabangsa.
“Those who are running it now are all volunteers and residents of Bukit Antarabangsa. Sometimes we are unable to take immediate response when we receive a call because we are busy with our own lives. So we need more people to be a part of the programme,” Shahrul said.
MPAJ president Datuk Mohammad Yacob said that SlopeWatch was to be recommended and encouraged other communities to start such a programme.
“They are our eyes and ears. We currently have 10 officers monitoring slopes in Ampang but SlopeWatch makes us able to respond that much faster before anything bad happens. We never know when a disaster will strike,” Mohammad said, adding that there were lots of hilly areas in Ampang including Melawati and Bukit Cheras.