World Bank, Jokowi agree
on river dredging time

The World Bank (WB) and Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo have agreed to simplify the clauses in a loan agreement to pay for the dredging project.

Under the joint project, which the Public Works Ministry and the Jakarta Public Works Agency initiated in 2008, the Jakarta Emergency Dredging Initiative (JEDI) or the Jakarta Urgent Flood Mitigation Project (JUMFP) as it is now known, will coordinate the dredging of 11 rivers and two dams, including the Cakung River in East Jakarta, the Sunter and the Angke rivers in North Jakarta and the Ciliwung River, using US$150 million in loans provided by the WB.

Of the total sum, the Jakarta administration will receive $69 million and the Public Works Ministry $70 million.

After meeting with Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the World Bank’s country director for Indonesia, Stefan Koeberle, said the bank had agreed to accommodate the governor’s wishes regarding the agreement terms.

“We are very clear that we share the same understanding of the urgency to get the program underway. We are optimistic that the groundbreaking will take place very soon,” Koeberle said at City Hall on Tuesday. “We are very supportive. There are no obstacles from our side,” he added.

Jokowi had previously expressed his intention to cancel the agreement due to the convoluted terminology that accompanied the loan.

The contract stipulated that the city administration would need to follow the agreed and disclosed Resettlement Policy Framework and that those people directly affected by the project should be consulted about the prepared Resettlement Plan and that final approval lay with the WB. The bank also initially aimed to complete the project in five years, which was deemed too long by Jokowi.

Ahok lauded the gesture, saying that the project may be launched as early as next month.

“I am happy. They have agreed to complete the project within two years as long as we are transparent. And we are transparent,” he emphasized.

“Everything is okay for now. We can start work as soon as possible, in July probably,” Ahok added.

Jakarta Legislative Council deputy speaker Triwisaksana of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) supported the latest deal.

“The council initially agreed to use the World Bank loan to finance the dredging project because it allowed us to get more than Rp 1 trillion in advance,” he said at his office.

Under the agreement, the city administration’s work will cover around 60 percent of the entire project, focusing on the dredging and rehabilitation of the Ciliwung River, the Gunung Sahari Canal, the Melati Dam, the Gresik Waterway, the Cideng River, the Sentiong River, the Sunter Utara Dam, the Sunter Selatan Dam and the Sunter Timur Dam.

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