A Specialist Dispatch Project was implemented for Kuala Lumpur City Hall from 29 November to 2 December 2022. CLAIR’s Specialist Dispatch Project is devised to contribute to the improvement of administrative qualities and technical capabilities of overseas local governments and other related organisations, as well as to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations between Japanese and overseas local governments. Mr. HIROSE Atsushi from the Ogawara Civil Engineering Office of Miyagi Prefecture Government in Japan was dispatched to Kuala Lumpur City Hall to provide the relevant trainings on flood management and rainwater utilisation. This is the fifth Specialist Dispatch Project implemented in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur City Hall, and the last project was conducted in 2017.
1 Background of the project
Due to climate change as well as other related factors, the drainage system in some parts of the city are no longer functioning properly. Coupled with this background, the‘once in 100 years’ heavy rainfall that occurred in December 2021 caused large-scale flooding in the city, resulting in significant damage. In order to overcome these pressing issues, the city requested the dispatch of a specialist in flood management and rainwater utilisation, which led to the implementation of this project.
2 Lectures and on-site trainings by the specialist
About 25 people, including the department directors and other officials of Kuala Lumpur City Hall, participated in the lectures and on-site trainings with the specialist. The specialist delivered lectures on flood management measures in Japan and conducted group work sessions. Mr. Hirose also provided technical guidance by inspecting rainwater storage facilities in the city and river confluence sites where water levels tend to rise during heavy rainfall.
During the lectures, the specialist explained the aspects of planning rainwater storage facilities by using examples of flood countermeasures in Ishinomaki City, Natori City and Matsushima Town in Miyagi Prefecture, where land subsidence occurred as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In addition, the specialist also showcased examples of daily management methods by using sensors, actual photographs and videos. During the group work session on the third day of the program, the participants were guided through the process of creating inland water hazard maps by placing the utmost importance on saving lives. The participants actively exchanged opinions within their groups.
Based on his observations from the 4-day program, the specialist is of the opinion that, from a medium to long-term (5-10 years) perspective, there is a need to systematically improve infrastructures such as rainwater storage tanks, while, from a short-term (around 3 years) perspective, urgent measures to be taken include the development of hazard maps and the review of the BCP (Business Continuity Plan) so that Kuala Lumpur City Hall could function normally during a natural disaster.
Looking forward, the specialist commented that it is his utmost wish for the trainings to be beneficial in solving the issues of flood management in Kuala Lumpur.
The Specialist Dispatch Project not only promotes knowledge transfer between Japanese and overseas local governments, but it also provides a meaningful opportunity for Japanese local governments to establish friendship and linkages with overseas local governments in hopes of leading to future exchanges. It is CLAIR’s utmost hope that more overseas local governments will participate in the Specialist Dispatch Project in the future.