SUStoM stands for Sarawak Urban StormWater Management. It is a planning standard to incorporate stormwater management into the design in order to minimize environmental degradation and improve aesthetic as well as recreational appeal of areas in Sarawak.
As a Sarawakian, I am glad to see that my own state came out with its own Urban StormWater Management design manual in order to mitigate flood problem. I grew up in Sarikei, a small town ( with a population of around 30K) that is located nearby the Rajang River. My mom used to told me that when she was young, the Rajang River water was so clear that she could take a bath in it, but now ( in 1980s), sadly this was no longer the case. There was so much soil erosion due to legal and illegal logging, so much soils got washed into the river, that riverbed became shallow and the water color became yellow. To me this seems like a huge economical disaster, entirely avoidable if only we could plan better.
When I was in secondary school, my father was transferred to Kuching. Kuching suffered from flash flood periodically, especially in the low land area such as Batu Kawa, causing deaths and destruction of properties.
Thus it was a relief for me to see that our state government was doing something about it, and showing serious effort to tackling the issue. True, we can only do planning based on past data, and given the sort of unpredictable environmental change that our earth is going through ( like global warming), even human best planning–aided by A.I or supercomputers or what-have-you– may not be adequate, but I believe that human scientific knowledge and technology will be able to tame the ecological and environment crisis that we are facing, eventually, if not now. We are moving slowly, but surely towards a better world, provided that we don’t self-destructed first with our stockpiles of nuclear weapons and wanton environment destruction.
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We will be covering SUStoM design in a series of blog post. Any topic you want to know? Leave us a comment!