City to work with neighbors on flood mitigation programs

Report
from Jakarta Post
Published on 12 Oct 2013 View Original

The Jakarta Post | Jakarta | Sat, October 12 2013, 12:00 PM

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) plans to coordinate with three provinces — Jakarta, Banten and West Java — in projects to mitigate flooding in the capital.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said after meeting with Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at City Hall on Friday that his team would soon coordinate with Banten and West Java regarding the anticipatory measures ahead of the flooding that will probably hit Jakarta in the coming months.

“Flooding in the capital city is closely related to these provinces as 70 percent of the water comes from those areas,” he told reporters.

Sutopo said BNPB with the city administration would intensify the preparations for flood mitigation.

“The Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) forecast that the peak of the rainy season will be from January through to March. So, we will start the anticipatory steps from December,” he said.

He said the main program would be attempts to modify the weather to decrease the intensity of rainfall in Jakarta. This program, he said, would be conducted from December onward.

“The project is estimated to cost around Rp 18 billion [US$1.56 million],” he said, adding that the Jakarta administration would cover the expenses.

Sutopo said that based on evaluations, weather modification could lessen the rainfall by up to 70 percent. “We can arrange it so that the rain does not to fall at the same time,” he said.

Sutopo explained that under the cooperation led by BNPB, the Jakarta governor would have the authority to call for a flood alert.

The announcement would be the basis for BNPB and officials to prepare logistics and resources to deal with the flooding.

Sutopo said the BNPB offices in the three provinces would hold an evacuation drill in three flood-prone areas — Pluit in North Jakarta, Bukit Duri in South Jakarta and Rawa Buaya in West Jakarta — involving residents and community groups in November and December.

“Pak Jokowi wants thorough preparations in the flood-prone areas to get everyone ready to respond to the flood,” he said.

The city’s Public Works Agency is now also finishing its priority projects like the dredging and revitalization of 12 reservoirs, 160 connecting waterways and 18 sub-macro waterways; the construction of 1,958 percolation pits in flood-prone areas; and the repair of 73 pump houses.

Also this year, the city plans to install 130 CCTV cameras at the pump houses.

Jokowi said he demanded a concrete plan for the emergency response, so that the administration and the residents would be completely ready.

“We will make sure that not only the agency but also the subdistrict officials are ready in terms of logistics, inflatable boats and the locations for evacuees.”

The flood that hit the capital city earlier this year was the biggest in 12 years, displacing thousands of Jakartans and leaving dozens of people dead.

The city administration estimated that total losses from the flooding amounted to around Rp 20 billion.

Sutopo said there would be two flood-crisis centers, one of which would be located at City Hall.

The second flood-crisis center will be at the Public Works Ministry, overseeing coordination among national institutions — the public works and social affairs ministries, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI).