Friday, November 15, 2013


  Jakarta, Nov 15, 2013 (Antara) - Jakarta is bracing for floods as rains have begun inundating a number of areas in the city of some 10 million people.
        In every rainy season, Jakarta occasionally floods, despite efforts by authorities, such as constructing new canals to channel water out to the sea.
        In the beginning of this year's rainy season, tens of flood-prone Areas, particularly in East and South Jakarta municipalities, were inundated.

         Just on Wednesday (Nov 13), rainfall flooded at least 34 reas in the metropolitan city, affecting 2,770 people.
        The Jakarta Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has mapped 62 areas that are prone to flooding in Jakarta's five municipalities.
         In Central Jakarta, nine of these areas often flood; in North Jakarta there are 19 areas; in West Jakarta there are 17 areas; in South Jakarta 12; and in East Jakarta there are eight areas, the agency said.
         The agency has identified flood-prone areas to include Cengkareng, Grogol Petamburan, Kalideres, Kebon Jeruk, Kembangan, and Tamansari (in West Jakarta); Cempaka Putih, Gambir, Kemayoran,
Menteng, Sawah Besar, Senen, and Tanah Abang (in Central Jakarta); Cilandak, Jagakarsa, Kebayoran Baru, Kebayoran Lama, Mampang Prapatan, Pancoran, Pasar Minggu, Pesanggrahan, and Tebet (in South Jakarta); Cakung, Cipayung, Ciracas, Jatinegara, Kampung Melayu, Kramat Jati, Makasar, Matraman, and Pulo Gadung (in East Jakarta); Cilincing, Kelapa Gading, Koja, Pademangan, Penjaringan, and Tanjung Priok (in North Jakarta).
        To seriously deal with the flooding problem, the Jakarta administration will allocate much of the 2014 provincial budget to preventing floods and traffic jams, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said recently, adding that the amount of the 2014 regional budget is to be tripled.
       The city administration is currently constructing some 2,000 water absorption wells and conducting clean up activities in several rivers in anticipation of possible flooding during the ongoing rainy season.
       Governor Jokowi began the operations from Mall Season's City in North Jakarta on Thursday (Nov 14), involving army personnel, garbage service workers and community members.
        "It is hoped that this activity will increase public awareness about, and the love for, cleanliness," the governor said.
        Ciliwung River, which passes through the capital city, is the main target of the clean up operations.  The governor hoped that after the river was cleaned, residents would stop dumping garbage into the
river so that it might remain clean and flooding would cease.
         Major General Meris Wiryadi, the Army Chief of Staff's territorial assistant, said he has deployed 4,500 personnel for river clean up activities.
        "This is an anticipatory effort to deal with the threat of floods in the capital city and is also part of an educational effort aimed at changing people's habits of dumping garbage at will," he stated.
        In all, 7,500 personnel are involved in the operation, in Addition to 50 dump trucks, four excavators and other equipment.
         Another measure to fight the flooding problem includes a decision taken by the Jakarta administration to impose a penalty for littering, to be found in Law No. 3/2013 on Waste Treatment.
         "Those who litter will be fined. An individual fine could be Rp500,000, while a company could be fined Rp50 million," Jokowi stated.
        The law will be enforced strictly starting in 2014, but the public will first be informed about both the law and penalties.
         "Littering triggers floods and we must clean it all. On the other hand, we will also urge every inhabitant not to litter," Jokowi  pointed out.
         The Head of Jakarta's Cleanliness Service, Unu Nurdin, said river patrols would be carried out next year to determine which residents were to be penalized for littering.
        "The patrols will involve cleaning services, city security guards, and soldiers," Unu Nurdin noted.
         "We will not impose the penalty immediately, but it will be done gradually. We will carry out a public awareness campaign so that people stop littering," he said.
        Campaigns related to anti-littering will be held continuously, since building public awareness takes time, he added.
        The head of Jakarta's regional disaster mitigation agency (BPBD), Bambang Musyawardan, separately reminded Jakarta's inhabitants to remain alert, as more heavy rainfall is expected in the city during the next few days.
         A call for a full alert was also voiced by Margo Wiyono, the social affairs ministry's Director for Social Protection for Natural Disaster Victims.
          He urged volunteer groups, called "Disaster Alert Kampongs" (KSB) operating in Jakarta, to be ready to assist following floods during the current rainy season.
       "We hope that the KSB we have set up are ready, and so are the disaster alert youth (Tagana) and the community, in general," Margo Wiyono said.
         The Social Affairs Ministry has also prepared logistical supplies for refugees, in case of floods.
        "We hope the community is better-prepared this year because the BPBD and the meteorological, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG) had been issued warnings at the earliest stage," he said.
        KSB groups have been established in the five municipalities of the capital city to help residents be prepared in case of disaster from floods.  
    Last year, 23 people died due to flooding and more than 100,000 families had to be evacuated after heavy rains struck Jakarta.
    The floods inflicted losses of Rp1 trillion, or US$14 million. The peak rainy season in Jakarta is usually between January and March.
         In other parts of Indonesia, rains have caused floods that claimed several lives, including three in Landak District (West Kalimantan), two in Wasior (West Papua), and two in Tanggerang (Banten). ***4***
(f001/INE/a014)(EDITED BY INE)
(T.F001/A/BESSR/A/A. Abdussalam) 15-11-2
013 19:17:23

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