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Jakarta Post

Artificial rain useless in reducing air pollution: Greenpeace

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 9, 2019   /   03:26 pm
Artificial rain useless in reducing air pollution: Greenpeace Hardly visible: Smog blankets Jakarta’s skyscrapers on Tuesday. Air pollution in the city is among the worst in the world. (The Jakarta Post/Wendra Ajistyatama )

The city's plan to make artificial rain to reduce air pollution in Jakarta misses the point, according to Greenpeace Indonesia.

The plan arose after residents of Greater Jakarta grouped under a movement named Tim Advokasi Ibukota (Jakarta Advocacy Team) filed a historic civil lawsuit with the Central Jakarta District Court last week to demand the central government and regional administrations do something about it.

Jakarta was among the worst-polluted cities in Southeast Asia according to the World Health Organization’s data recorded from 2015 to 2016.

Greenpeace Indonesia climate and energy campaigner Bondan Andriyanu said that instead of taking such a useless measure, the city should focus on controlling the sources of pollutants. 

Cleaning up the air with artificial rain is a temporary solution, because the sources of pollutants are still around. 

"We can't make the rain last all day," Bondan said on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.

"Say the rain only lasts for three hours. After that, would the sources of pollutants stop? Of course not, they keep producing [new pollutants]," he added.

He gave the example of fire being extinguished using artificial rain.

Bondan said that, in order to completely put out the fire, we need to know exactly where the source is to prevent it from spreading to other areas.

"In this case, if we are not even sure about the sources of pollutants and then we just suddenly throw water [all over the city], how would we know which pollutants have gone and which have not? Which pollutants would appear again?" he explained.

The Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT ) previously said it could modify the weather to help the city solve the air pollution problem.

BPPT chairman Hammam Riza claimed that the plan had been approved by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and that it would be carried out this month. 

"The governor has given us the 'green light and asked the Weather Modification Technology (TMC) Agency to do it on July 10 at the soonest or before the academic year begins," Hammam said. 

However, Anies said the plan was still in the preliminary assessment phase and that they needed time to discuss it further.

TMC Agency chairman Tri Handoko Seto said the expenses would be borne by the city. 

"It has been discussed in the meeting, how much the cost would be," he said. (vla)