The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said the key to settle all problems in the Citarum River basin area (DAS) was integration among ministries, institutions and all government branches both at central and local levels.
“If they can integrate, I predict that the rehabilitation of the river can finish well within seven years,” said Jokowi during the opening of a limited Cabinet meeting on Citarum at the Public Works Development Research Center in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday evening.
The President added that DAS Citarum was very important for the lives of at least 27 million people in West Java and Jakarta. While it has become the location of three hydropower plants that can generate 1,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity, the river also supplies 80 percent of untreated water for Jakarta residents.
“I want the management of Citarum to be immediately conducted [without delay]. This can become an example for other river basin areas that affect the lives of many people,” Jokowi said.
The President has broken down the rehabilitation work of Citarum River into three sections. It starts from the rehabilitation of the water catchment area in the upstream part of the river, followed by cleaning up the middle part of the river from industrial waste water.
“The downstream part of the river must be rehabilitated as well,” said Jokowi.
The President hoped DAS Citarum would no longer become a giant waste disposal center, as factories operating along the riverbanks have been using the area to dump waste. (ebf)