08/05/2023, 14.52
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Canal inaugurated in Jakarta to reduce flood risk

by Mathias Hariyadi

The project will divert the Ciliwung River, reducing the impact of flooding by about 60 per cent. However, Indonesian President Joko Widodo noted that a lot of progress still had to be done to secure the city.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – On Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced that the diversion of the Ciliwung River was completed. The project entailed the construction of a flood canal in East Jakarta to reduce the impact of flooding on the city by about 60 per cent.

The Indonesian capital has always had a problem with floods during the rainy season, resulting in transportation chaos and flooded buildings. With this in mind, the government decided to move the capital to Nusantara, in East Kalimantan province.

The source of the Ciliwung River is located in the Puncak Pass Mountains, West Java province, the only place in the country where snow falls.

Now, when heavy rains are forecast, Jakarta will have a nine-hour warning. “This will help prevent floods in at least six sub-districts," the president said during the inauguration ceremony.

This will not free Jakarta from flood risks. The Ciliwung River still crosses the city centre since only 16 of 33-kilometre project are currently operational at a cost of more than a trillion Indonesian rupiahs.

“Jakarta has 13 rivers that are expected to undergo interventions. The resolution of the problem will have to be addressed together with other parties," the Indonesian president added, referring to a new dam under construction in Ciawi and the existing Sukamahi Dam in Bogor, both in West Java province.

The construction of the east flood canal, announced in 2012 when Jokowi was still Jakarta governor, was halted for several years due to problems associated with relocating people who lived (more or less legally) along the banks of the waterway and could only resume after they were moved.

The project entailed widening the river bed and clearing the built-up areas along the riverbanks.

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