Wednesday, December 5, 2012


    Jakarta, Dec 5, 2012 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is a country with a number of rivers, and they have become an important part of the lives of Indonesians, particularly for those living in rural areas.
        However, in big cities, most of the rivers are polluted as many people live along the rivers' banks, and they throw solid and liquid waste into the rivers, ignoring the regulations that ban people from building houses along the rivers banks, and disposing waste into the rivers.

         There are around 4.088 million people living along the bank of the Ciliwung River. This river flows through Bogor, Depok (West Java Province) and Jakarta, and it is one of the most densely populated areas in the region.
          The polluted Ciliwung River often overflows and causes floods in some parts of Jakarta.
         Given the serious problem caused by the Ciliwung River in Jakarta, the government has decided to restore the Ciliwung River, along with 12 other rivers in the country.
         "There are 13 rivers that will be restored," said Balthasar Kambuaya, Indonesia¿s Environmental Affairs Minister, on December 3, 2012, after signing the agreement on the restoration of the Ciliwung River.
    The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Ciliwung Restoration Project was signed by the Indonesian Environmental Affairs Ministry, the Korean Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
          The Indonesian government chose South Korea as a partner in the river restoration project because South Korea has managed to clean the (polluted) Han River.
         "South Korea has gone through a quick industrialisation process, which has resulted in many polluted rivers. However, we have successfully overcome the problem through our restoration efforts," said You Young Sook, South Korean Environmental Affairs Minister, after signing the MoU.
          "In the past, Korea's rivers were polluted. By using the appropriate technologies, we have addressed the problem. Now, it's time to share the technologies with other countries," he added.
          The Ciliwung restoration project will become a turning point for similar river restoration projects throughout the country. "We are focusing on Ciliwung first," said the minister.
          The restoration efforts (as per the agreement) will be made over the next 36 months, up to 2015. For this project to be successful, funds are required from the Indonesia government and from South Korea. Funds required for the project are as follows: Rp10 billion from the Indonesian government and US$9 million from South Korea.
          The project will include the construction of a domestic waste processing facility, an environmental education centre and environmentally friendly facilities.
         The Ciliwung River is 97 km long and has a catchment area of 476 km2. The Ciliwung River starts from Mt Mandala Wangi in the Bogor District (at an altitude of 3,002 m).
         The river passing through several active volcanoes, namely, Mt Salak (2,211 m), Mt Kendeng (1,364 m) and Mt Halimun (1,929 m), and it crosses two cities (Bogor and Jakarta) before flowing into the Java Sea.
          Minister Kambuaya said his ministry has prepared a restoration plan (from 2010 to 2030).
        He added that the Ciliwung restoration plan will require cooperation from the private sector, the government and the public.
         "The National Monument (Monas) and the Ciliwung River will become Jakarta's tourist spots," said Kambuaya.
         In Jakarta, the Ciliwung River passes through the heart of the city, the Istiqlal Grand Mosque and the Catholic Cathedral.
         Hence, the Ciliwung river restoration project will start from the grand mosque, Istiqlal, with the construction of a waste water treatment plant to recycle waste water in the mosque.
         "With this facility, waste water can be reused after being treated," said Muhammad Tauchid, head of the Jakarta environmental agency.
           Water from the mosque's toilets will be treated after separating solid and liquid waste.
        The waste water will be used to water the plants in the vicinity after it has been processed.
         The waste water treatment facility will be designed by Indonesia's Agency for Application and Assessment of Technologies (BPPT) and South Korea.
           "We are not simply accepting technologies from South Korea because BPPT has to assess them first," he said.
            The construction of the waste water treatment facility will begin in 2013. The facility will be built underground, and it will be able to process 500 m3 of waste every second.
            Minister Balthasar Kambuaya is optimistic that the polluted Ciliwung River will become clean in the next three to five years.
          "One day, people will see that the murky waters of the Ciliwung River have become clean, hopefully in the next three to five years," he said.
          In November 2012, Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi), the new governor of Jakarta, met the Minister of Public Works, Djoko Kirmanto, and the Minister of Public Housing, Djan Farid, to discuss the restoration of the Ciliwung River.
          "During the meeting, we talked about the problems linked to Ciliwung," said Jokowi, after the meeting.
          Minister Djoko Kirmanto said the Ciliwung River has become narrow, and therefore, it cannot accommodate rainwater.
         "River Ciliwung has become narrow, and we need to widen it.  People living along the bank of the river must relocate," he added.
           Djoko said rented public apartments will be built somewhere close to the river.
    Indonesia's Public Housing Minister, Djan Farid, said his office plans to build 22 towers of public apartments. Each tower will have 900 housing units.
          "We will build 22 towers of public apartments, and each tower will have 900 housing units," he said.
          The project is scheduled to begin in January 2013, and it will take two years to be completed.***3***

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