IN FOCUS: The fight against Jakarta’s devastating yearly floods

JAKARTA: As thunderous clouds roll in from the ocean, Jakarta residents brace themselves for a well-known state of affairs.

Heavy showers quickly drench components of town and in only a few hours, rainwater begins to overwhelm the drainage system.

When that occurs, main streets, roads and again alleys are inundated in ankle-deep, generally knee-deep water, inflicting visitors gridlocks so extreme that motorists discover themselves caught on the roads for hours.    

But there’s extra bother to return. The clouds start to maneuver to the mountainous suburbs additional south. As huge rainfall hits these upstream areas, creeks and rivers start to swell and the handfuls of flood management dams and sluice gates alongside their paths begin to increase their alert degree.

It received’t be lengthy earlier than the dams are overwhelmed and officers manning them are left with no selection however to launch the water. A flood is imminent and the surging water is on its technique to the capital metropolis.

Residents who dwell close to the rivers are instantly notified. Like clockwork, they start to maneuver their valuable belongings to safer locations.

There are those that select to desert their houses totally and search refuge elsewhere. Others choose to remain behind and shield their properties by preserving the water at bay. 

No one can inform whether or not the flood shall be extreme. And generally folks underestimate the extent of the incoming flood, leading to devastating penalties.

Each yr, dozens of persons are killed and hundreds of homes throughout Jakarta are flooded in murky brown water as much as 3m deep.

On Jan 24, a whole lot of folks had been affected when floods inundated a number of main streets and housing complexes throughout Jakarta and neighbouring Bekasi after heavy showers swept throughout the 2 cities. 

But the floods had been nothing in comparison with the devastation brought on by a large flood in January final yr, which killed 66 folks and compelled 170,000 folks to hunt shelter in Jakarta and its surrounding suburbs. 

On common, a flood ends in round US$532 million of property and infrastructure harm within the metropolitan space, based on estimates by the National Development Planning Agency. 

Transportation along a flooded street in Jakarta

Transportation alongside a flooded avenue in Jakarta, Indonesia February 25, 2020 on this photograph taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Galih Pradipta/ by way of REUTERS

Flooding has affected Jakarta for hundreds of years, all the best way again to when town was the capital of the Dutch East Indies and glided by the title Batavia.

As the inhabitants grew exponentially and Jakarta grew to become a huge metropolis, the issue grew to become so extreme and complicated that mitigating the floods requires three provinces, a number of ranges of governments and numerous companies to work collectively. Occasionally, there’s a lack of consensus on easy methods to proceed.

There are a number of root causes, together with deforestation, poor drainage, narrowing rivers and land subsidence. The authorities are exploring numerous choices resembling an enormous sea wall, extra dams and different technical options.

READ: As yearly floods loom, Jakarta residents fear shelters are potential COVID-19 ‘breeding grounds’

“Jakarta residents really only have two expectations for their government: A traffic-free Jakarta and a flood-free Jakarta,” metropolis planning knowledgeable Nirwono Joga advised CNA. 

But these expectations are on no account simple to fulfill. After a long time and billions of {dollars} later, the aim of a flood-free Jakarta continues to be elusive.

With local weather change bringing extra excessive and unpredictable climate patterns, flooding is anticipated to worsen if nothing is finished. 


The downside begins 50km south of town, at the foothills of Mount Pangrango, a dormant volcano towering 3,000m above sea degree. Natural springs and rainwater falling on its slopes ultimately type main rivers that movement into Jakarta.

Lush inexperienced forests on the foot of the mountain have been lower down, changed by housing complexes, posh villas, vacationer resorts, high-rise motels and stylish eating places.

These man-made constructions have decreased the soil’s capability to soak up the torrential rains and thunderstorms which steadily hit the world in the course of the wet season.

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Satellite photographs of the upstream areas of Jakarta’s foremost river, the Ciliwung from 1984 (left) and 2020 (proper). 1,200sqkm of forests had been cleared to make means for villas, motels and vacationer areas. (Image: Google Earth Pro)

“The water appears to be flowing faster and faster,” mentioned Mr Abdul Lutfi, a resident of Megamendung district which straddles the Ciliwung River, the largest and most flood-prone waterway to movement into Jakarta.

In some components of Megamendung, the river sits on a deep ravine eight meters tall. On a summer time day, the water is shallow and clear, shifting sluggishly down the stream.

But in the course of the wet season, it’s not unusual to see the river raging with water degree surging by 4m, bringing with it mud and particles which flip the water brown, mentioned Mr Lutfi. Sometimes the river present is so sturdy that there are landslides.

According to authorities knowledge, the upstream regency of Bogor has misplaced 1,200sqkm of forests within the final 40 years whereas the variety of dwellings elevated 6,400 per cent. Forested areas now signify simply 26 per cent of Bogor’s 2,664sqkm space. In 1980, the determine was 74.8 per cent.

As a outcome, water runoff elevated from 15 per cent to round 70 per cent.  

“There is environmental degradation in Bogor. Water catchment capacity has reduced significantly. We can see this through the increase of water flowing to rivers,” mentioned Mr Joga, town planning knowledgeable.  

Meanwhile, torrential rains are taking place extra steadily and are of larger depth, a consequence of the altering local weather.

According to the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), every day rain depth in Jakarta and the encircling areas have been growing annually by between 1mm to 2mm. The 377mm rainfall in in the future that brought about the devastating floods at the start of 2020 was the largest in Jakarta’s recorded historical past.

Jakarta flood sluice

Residents watch water brought on by heavy rainfall movement from the Katulampa sluice gate in Bogor City, West Java, south of Jakarta, Feb 5, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Antara Foto/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

There have been efforts to tear down the villas and reforest the upstream areas, Mr Joga famous, significantly after Jakarta started seeing larger floods.

“But the enforcement has not been maximum, because some of the villas belong to important people living in Jakarta. The enforcement has been selective, based on who owns the villas,” he mentioned.

“Villas, housing complexes and tourist areas continue to be built because that is the main source of income for the local government.”


The land conversion continues because the rivers make their means north. Along the best way, riverfront villas and golf programs are changed by modest homes and factories earlier than the rivers enter Jakarta the place high-rise residences, workplace buildings and purchasing malls compete for house with low-income neighbourhoods.

As Jakarta’s inhabitants grew, watersheds, marshlands and low-lying basins had been transformed into settlements.

“Jakarta has areas called Rawa Buaya, Rawa Badak, Rawa Bambu and so on,” famous Mr Firdaus Ali, a water administration knowledgeable and environmental engineering lecturer at University of Indonesia. “Rawa” means marshlands in Indonesian.

“We used to let water inundate these areas because they served as buffers to contain excess water. But because we needed space, we converted them into commercial and residential areas.”

A woman swims in flood water to reach higher ground in Jakarta

A girl swims in flood water to succeed in greater floor in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan 2, 2020. (Photo: AP/Dita Alangkara)

These former marshlands are flood-prone and Ms Yati Saimah, a resident of Rawamangun in East Jakarta is aware of this primary hand.

“I have lived here for 40 years and the flood was never this bad,” she advised CNA of a flood that occurred on Feb 25 final yr. “Water inundated my neighbourhood up to my waist. Before it only went as deep as my knee.”

Rawamangun is 1km from the closest waterway, the Cipinang River. Flooding right here isn’t brought on by river overflow however torrential rain. On Feb 25, heavy rain pelted the world for greater than 12 hours.

The water didn’t fully recede till 12 hours later, the 45-year-old recounted.

Among the explanations for the flood water taking an extended time to recede is drainage points within the metropolis. During main floods in Jakarta, some areas have been inundated for days.

According to Mr Ali, the water administration knowledgeable, solely 40 per cent of Jakarta’s 1,553km sewers and drainage pipes are functioning correctly.

“There are sewers which are clogged by trash and sediment, deformed, not connected to bigger drainage pipes, encroached by locals who built houses and shops over it. The city’s drainage system is paralysed and water cannot drain quickly,” he mentioned.

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Houses have been constructed on high of a drainage system in Pluit, North Jakarta. Experts mentioned solely 40 per cent of Jakarta’s drainage system is working correctly. (Photo: Nivell Rayda)

To make issues worse, town’s drainage system was designed to deal with 150mm of rain per day, which is insufficient in the course of the wet season when there may very well be greater than 300mm of rain every day.

“Our drainage system can no longer cope with the amount of rainfall we are seeing, which is expected to increase as a result of climate change,” metropolis planning knowledgeable Mr Joga mentioned.

Mr Joga estimated that solely 33 per cent of Jakarta’s drainage system is working correctly.

Jakarta’s drainage system is so unhealthy it’s not unusual to see flooding on main streets the place multi-national firms, worldwide companies and authorities ministries are headquartered.

Transportation along a flooded street in Jakarta

Transportation alongside a flooded avenue in Jakarta, Indonesia February 25, 2020 on this photograph taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Winda Wahyu Fariansih/ by way of REUTERS

“Ninety per cent of Jakarta is paved in concrete and asphalt, so the ground has little capacity to absorb water. Most buildings are not equipped with vertical drainage. Every time it rains, water is running off the buildings, overwhelming our already overwhelmed drainage system,” Mr Joga mentioned.

There are plans to mandate buildings in Jakarta to have 30 per cent of their space transformed into open inexperienced areas and for the buildings to have zero water runoff in the course of the wet season.

“But enforcement has been weak,” he mentioned.


There are 13 rivers flowing into Jakarta, from meandering waterways which have existed for hundreds of years to man-made canals meant to divert water away from the Indonesian capital. All are thought of flood-prone.

By regulation, nobody is meant to construct homes inside 50m from the water’s edge. But resulting from lack of enforcement, unlawful dwellings are sprawled alongside the riverbanks.

“The rivers have narrowed. In the 1970s, they were 50m wide. But now they can be as narrow as 15 to 20m,” Mr Joga mentioned.

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A shot of Jakarta’s Ciliwung River taken on Jan 9, 2020. When huge flood inundated components of Jakarta on Jan 1, water degree rose and spilled over the embankment wall on the fitting. (Photo: Nivell Rayda) 

Today, Jakarta’s 13 rivers are able to containing 950 cubic metres of water per second. However, in the course of the wet season, the movement of water operating by way of these rivers can surge to 2,500 cubic metres each second.

Sometimes, the flood bought so unhealthy whole neighbourhoods had been submerged in murky brown water 3m deep. It is difficult to differentiate the place the river ends and land begins, apart from the rows upon rows of rooftops jutting out of the water.    

And it’s not simply rivers which are narrowing. Along the rivers, there are 208 man-made retention basins, constructed to include water runoff and forestall flooding. Many of those flood basins have been fully occupied by unlawful settlements and generally massive property builders.

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Workers excavating trash and sediments clogging the Pluit retention basin in North Jakarta. Experts mentioned that unlawful settlements within the background and sedimentation has decreased the basin’s capability by 87 per cent. (Photo: Nivell Rayda)

In one retention basin, the capability has drastically decreased from 8 million cubic metres to only 1 million cubic metres in 40 years due to unlawful squatters. The occupiers typically deal with the basin as their waste dumping floor. Their presence additionally prevented heavy equipment from dredging a long time of sedimentation.

The authorities is making an attempt to reclaim these retention basins and clear up land wanted to widen the rivers, however these efforts are sometimes met with resistance, authorized challenges and avenue protests.

“We have spent a lot of time in courts, time which could have been spent building infrastructure or doing something else,” Mr Bambang Heri Mulyono of the Indonesian Ministry for Public Works advised CNA. 

Mr Mulyono, who’s in command of infrastructure work alongside the 119km Ciliwung River, mentioned there are stretches totalling 17km in size which aren’t protected by dikes and retention partitions.

“When the flood comes, water will inundate these areas and from there, water will spread everywhere,” he mentioned.

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A person inspecting the harm to his dwelling within the flood-prone space of Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta. The space was one of many worst affected in the course of the Jan 1, 2020 flood. (Photo: Nivell Rayda) 

The plan is to widen the river by 7.5m on both facet and relocate individuals who have been occupying the riverbank illegally for generations elsewhere. Some neighbourhoods have been cooperative however others haven’t.     

“This is the main reason why the flood mitigation programme has been slow. We have to deal with these problems,” he mentioned.

READ: Last mangrove ecosystem in Jakarta city under threat from land subsidence and climate change


By the time the rivers attain coastal areas within the north, the water movement is low and unable to discharge into the ocean.

Instead, trash-filled and foul-smelling water has to undergo massive pumping stations at the mouths of the rivers, which may lie between 1m and 4m under sea degree.

“The rivers are already lower than sea level because of land subsidence. That’s why water from these rivers have to be pumped out. During a flood, water can accumulate very quickly and the pumps need a much longer period of time to get the water out,” Mr Peter Letrite of the Dutch water administration consultancy Deltares advised CNA.

Jakarta, which lies on unfastened and unconsolidated soil and sediment, is among the quickest sinking megacities on the planet with land subsiding at a price of as much as 26cm per yr within the softer, sandy soils of the north and 1cm per yr within the firmer soils of the south.

North Jakarta turned to swamp

Parts of Muara Baru, North Jakarta, have changed into swampy waste land. (Photo: Nivell Rayda) 

Land subsidence can happen naturally by way of tectonic quakes or following man-made actions resembling development and groundwater extraction. 

“We don’t have reliable freshwater supply. Today, our piped water system serves less than 47 per cent of Jakartans. Meanwhile, the need for freshwater increases as we build office buildings, malls, hotels and apartments. As a result, they (residents) performed excessive groundwater extraction which prompted land to subside,”  Mr Ali, the water administration knowledgeable, defined.

According to findings from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), 90 per cent of Jakarta’s coastal areas now sits under the floor of the ocean.

These communities are protected against changing into absolutely submerged by elevated concrete dikes and breakwaters in upscale seafront housing complexes and residences. 

For these in middle-income neighbourhoods, there are retainer partitions barely 1m thick supported by sloping buttresses. Impoverished fishing villages can solely depend on sandbags for defense.  

Sinking Jakarta mosque

The Waladuna mosque in North Jakarta has been submerged beneath water since 2000 due to land subsidence. (Photo: Nivell Rayda) 

But water generally breaches these defences, turning industrial estates and fishing neighbourhoods into uninhabitable swamps.

As land subsidence continues, these partitions and embankments are additionally sinking and have to be raised by 20cm to 30 cm annually.

Occasionally, sturdy winds and excessive waves would hit Jakarta’s 46km shoreline and the ocean would surge a lot the partitions are unable to include it. Breeches and overtopping happen and seawater would flood communities as much as 3km inland.

And when these storm surges occur similtaneously the fluvial floods, the outcome could be catastrophic.

READ: Time is running out for Indonesian fishing village as it battles coastal erosion

In February 2007, Jakarta was besieged by coastal flooding from the north and river flooding from the south, inflicting 60 per cent of town to be inundated. In some areas, water didn’t recede for ten days. Seventy thousand houses had been flooded and 80 folks had been killed that yr.  

Mr Heri Andreas, a Bandung Institute of Technology knowledgeable on geodesy, which research how the earth’s geometric form modifications over time, advised CNA that the 2007 flood wouldn’t have been as extreme had there been no land subsidence.

In early 2020, the scientist created a pc simulation on what would occur to Jakarta if land subsidence had been stopped fully within the final 40 years. In that state of affairs, floodwater would wash out to sea unimpeded.  

“Land subsidence has increased the number of flood-prone areas by 300 per cent. Had we stopped groundwater extraction in the 1980s, flood-prone areas would be a third (of what they are now), even as rainfall and our retention capacity remains the same,” Mr Andreas mentioned.

To make issues worse, land subsidence additionally occurred within the inside components of town, as far-off as 20km from the shoreline. Although not as extreme because the coastal areas, land subsidence has brought about many areas to take a seat decrease than the rivers, growing the quantity of flood inclined areas throughout Jakarta.

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Mr Andreas’s analysis has additionally proven that 40 per cent of Jakarta may very well be under sea degree by 2050, together with a lot of town’s enterprise districts. “We need to pay attention to these topographical dynamics. Right now, our flood mitigation policies and plans do not account for land subsidence,” he mentioned.


To fight the floods and mitigate the irreversible impact of Jakarta’s land subsidence downside, the federal government in 2013 proposed the constructing of an enormous sea wall stretching greater than 30km throughout the Jakarta bay space.

In the preliminary plan, the enormous dike, which doubles as a toll highway, would convert 148sqkm of sea into two freshwater lakes crammed with man-made islands. From the air, it might resemble the legendary chook Garuda, Indonesia’s nationwide image.

It promised to be a panacea to Jakarta’s issues of land subsidence, rising sea degree, annual flood and freshwater scarcity.

But scientists and activists believed that the plan was solely good on paper and would almost certainly trigger an ecological catastrophe.

READ: Staying in Jakarta – Will a great sea wall protect Indonesia’s capital from coastal flooding?

Mr Muslim Muin, a hydrodynamics knowledgeable from Bandung Institute of Technology, mentioned the rivers which movement by way of Jakarta are silky and brown, crammed with trash, silt, sediment and poisonous industrial wastes, making the plan to transform the ocean right into a freshwater reservoir infeasible.

“We will not be able to use the water as our freshwater source because there is too much pollution. We will end up spending more money each year to treat the water, dredge the sediment and pump excess water out to sea during the rainy season,” Mr Muin advised CNA.

During the dry season, when there’s not sufficient water flowing from the rivers, the entire space is not going to perform as a reservoir, however a trash-clogged evaporation pond, he predicted. 

Jakarta’s rivers are so polluted that at present, 80 per cent of town’s piped water is sourced from a reservoir 48km east.

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This file photograph dated 05 September 2003 exhibits Darsono, 44, a scavenger, amassing plastic baggage from rubbish-covered river close to his residing space in Muara Karang in Jakarta. (File photograph: AFP/Bay Ismoyo) 

The large seawall, identified formally because the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) challenge, additionally has a lofty price ticket of US$40 billion, practically seven occasions town’s annual price range as an entire.

To assist finance the dike, the federal government turned to property builders who had been promised permits to construct synthetic islands.

“It was assumed that the NCICD plan would have to be paid by Jakarta, not by the national coffers. Because the Indonesian government said they have (to deal with) so many issues in other cities. The only way to finance this is through land development,” mentioned Mr Letrite. Deltares, his consultancy, was tasked with learning the plan.

“The price tag became big because all sorts of things were put into the NCICD project like the improvement of water treatment, improvement of water supply. With new land, you need more roads, more infrastructure and so on.”

The islands could be occupied by upscale waterfront properties the place the wealthy can dock their yachts.

“This meant that only the rich would have access to the sea and not the tens of thousands of fishermen whose livelihoods depend on it,” mentioned Mr Abdul Halim of the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice.

The large seawall, and the freshwater it might have created, would additionally spell the tip of Jakarta’s last remaining mangrove forests within the north-western a part of town. The mangroves, which want brackish water to outlive, are dwelling to all kinds of wildlife.

The Jakarta authorities issued a allow to 2 property builders and state-owned port firm, Pelindo in 2016 to construct 4 synthetic islands, even because the seawall challenge was hamstrung by controversies and ultimately placed on the backburner.

READ: ‘Reclamation is everywhere, we are stranded’ – Ancol expansion a divisive issue in Jakarta

Building the factitious islands creates one other ecological downside, Mr Muin mentioned. “They will obstruct the flow of the rivers. Water will slow down and form sedimentation and if the sediment is not dredged regularly, it will worsen the floods further upstream,” he mentioned.

City planning knowledgeable Mr Joga mentioned the enormous wall doesn’t handle the underlying issues.

A man walks with his scooter through flood water after heavy rain in Jakarta

A person walks along with his scooter by way of flood water after heavy rain in Jakarta, Indonesia January 1 2020, on this photograph taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Aprillio Akbar/ by way of REUTERS

“We still need to address the environmental degradation in the upstream areas, widen the rivers, increase the capacity of our retention basins and ponds, fix Jakarta’s drainage system and add more open green spaces where rainwater is absorbed,” he mentioned.

“Those steps will already reduce the floods significantly.”

With a lot criticism in direction of the challenge, together with from the present metropolis governor Anies Baswedan, the central authorities has to return to the drafting board.

“The latest plan is to construct an open coastal dike which reduces the impact of the waves, but still leaves the ports open, mangroves will continue to grow, fishermen can still use these fishing grounds and it will not have such drastic social and environmental impact (as before),” Mr Letrite mentioned. “That is now the concept. It will be a much cheaper solution.”

But even the brand new plan, which remains to be being finalised, doesn’t please all stakeholders. “Not all (political) parties agree on the design. Not all parties agree on how it should be financed. That is complicating the decision making,” he said.

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An artist impression of the newest design of Jakarta’s National Capital Integrated Coastal Development challenge. (Image: Indonesian Ministry for Public Works) 


With the enormous wall challenge seemingly on the again burner, the federal government is engaged on numerous infrastructure initiatives which officers say will alleviate the flooding state of affairs.

The public works ministry is at present establishing two dry dams within the upstream areas of Ciliwung River, mentioned Mr Mulyono.

During the moist season, the Ciliwung can ship 365 cubic metres of water each second to the lowlands and the dams will cut back this to 253 cubic metres each second.

The two dams: the Ciawi and Sukamahi dry dams, can have a mixed capability of seven.6 million cubic metres which implies it will probably lower down water inflow within the flood-prone river for as much as 19 hours.

“We can keep cutting down the water flow until the water level recedes and return to normal. Once water level recedes, we can release the water back to the river,” Mr Mulyono mentioned.

The ministry hopes the 2 dams shall be prepared earlier than the following wet season begins in late 2021.

By the time the Ciliwung enters Jakarta, the river can have had extra water coming in from the a whole lot of tributaries alongside its course and the movement of water can have risen to 570 cubic metres per second.

The authorities is planning to construct dikes alongside stretches of the Ciliwung totalling 17km in size. These stretches are actually unprotected and illegally occupied by settlers.

There can be a plan to construct an underground pipe to channel a few of the Ciliwung’s extra water to the 23km lengthy East Flood Canal, which is at present used to divert water from the Cipinang, Sunter and Buaran rivers to the ocean    

“The length of this tunnel is 1.2km. We have built 600m from the outlet and we need 600m more. But the planned inlet is still occupied by settlers, so we cannot do our work,” he mentioned.

For the opposite 12 rivers, the ministry is specializing in restoring the capability of 208 retention basins and ponds alongside their programs. Again, there are points with land availability and the presence of unlawful settlements.

Indonesia flood

People making their means by way of a flood in Jakarta. A extreme flood on the northern coast of Jakarta in January 2013 pressured the gas-fuelled Muara Karang energy plant to close down for 12 days and greater than 500 items of inundated distribution substations within the Central Jakarta area had been turned off for security causes. The incident value the state US$15 million.

The authorities has been making an attempt to relocate settlers alongside the Ciliwung River since 2013. 

It additionally took the federal government years to safe the land wanted for the Ciawi and Sukamahi dry dams earlier than development lastly began in 2016.  

Relocating settlers is a painstaking course of involving rounds of negotiations. It can be politically delicate, so unpopular the truth is that it grew to become a sticking level throughout the 2017 Jakarta election which noticed the defeat of the incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a proponent of the relocation programme.

During the election, Mr Baswedan had promised voters he wouldn’t pursue the identical coverage as his predecessor.

“Relocation will only cause miseries for the people. Therefore, I am committed not to perform any relocation,” Mr Baswedan advised his supporters in March 2017, throughout a marketing campaign rally in North Jakarta. 

The governor reiterated his dedication after he was sworn in throughout a go to to West Jakarta in November that yr. “I don’t like to relocate people. We will organise (the neighbourhoods) instead. These are people, not objects,” he advised residents.

A man holds a Koran as Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan stands during a swearing-in ceremony at the

A person holds a Koran as Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan stands throughout a swearing-in ceremony on the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on Oct 16, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta)


Ms Baswedan has been working with a shrinking price range for flood mitigation.

Before he was sworn in, Jakarta’s price range for flood mitigation was US$221 million, which included quite a few land buy and relocation initiatives. In 2020, the price range fell to US$105 million and land clearing was halted.

“This is why Jakarta’s flood mitigation programme seems to be going nowhere,” water administration knowledgeable Mr Ali mentioned. “Whoever the governor is, people need to be relocated so the rivers can be widened, whether he likes it or not.”

There are indicators that Mr Baswedan may need modified his thoughts in regards to the relocation problem. Chief of Jakarta’s Water Resource Agency Juani Yusuf advised CNA that town has earmarked US$355 million for this yr’s flood mitigation programme, the vast majority of which shall be used to buy land and relocate settlers occupying rivers and retention basins.

The pivot got here months after a large flood in January 2020. It was the worst flood to happen throughout Mr Baswedan’s administration and one which brought about a number of folks to sue the city.

Mr Yusuf identified that the governor has by no means mentioned that there shall be no relocation throughout his administration. 

“We are avoiding relocation whenever we can but he never promised that there would be zero relocation. As long as it is for the good of many, we do (it),” he mentioned.  

Mr Yusuf mentioned his company has been specializing in deepening rivers and basins in addition to constructing vertical drainage that don’t require land acquisition and relocation.

Aerial picture of an area affected by floods, next to Ciliwung river in Jakarta

Aerial image of an space affected by floods, subsequent to Ciliwung river in Jakarta, Indonesia on Jan 2 2020. (Photo: Antara Foto/Nova Wahyudi/by way of REUTERS)

“We have done a lot actually. So, it is not true that Jakarta’s flood mitigation efforts have stagnated,” he mentioned.

“This year, the governor has instructed us to increase the capacity of five rivers. We aim to work with the ministry and finish the widening of the Ciliwung River,” he mentioned, including that his workplace will deal with lands the place residents have agreed to be relocated.

“There are lands which we have now negotiated however their acquisitions stalled due to budgeting points, together with the lands wanted to make the underground tunnel connecting Ciliwung and Cipinang rivers. We will prioritise these lands first.”

Despite these efforts, specialists are removed from satisfied. 

Mr Joga mentioned Jakarta has the potential to be on par with different nice cities of the world. “But Jakarta cannot maximise its potential because of bad management. (Jakarta) has the potential. It has money. And yet here we are, dealing with flood issues year after year,” he mentioned.

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