The Jakarta Post
Following floods that often strike Medan, the North Sumatra administration has pledged to make the provincial capital free from floods by 2022.
The declaration was made during an event on flood prevention for Medan and its surrounding area at the governor’s office on Jl. Diponegoro, Medan, on Thursday.
North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi said the administration had set up working groups comprising representatives from different institutions to realize the pledge.
“Let’s give support to the group. I will fight anyone who is in the way. Work with me to realize a flood-free Medan,’ Edy said at the event.
Although the mayor was mainly responsible for dealing with floods in Medan, Edy said the provincial administration was also partly responsible.
Medan and its surrounding areas have been regularly hit by floods that cause traffic congestion and inundated hundreds of houses in recent months, especially after heavy downpours.
Edy also highlighted his concern for the garbage that was piling up across Medan, saying that people dumping litter in the rivers had partly led to floods in the city.
He ordered subdistrict heads to urge residents to stop littering as keeping the rivers clean was the responsibility of all.
The administration also aims to clear riverbank areas of squatters to make the rivers garbage free.
“The provincial administration will prepare apartments for the affected people along the river banks,” Edy said, adding that the funding would come from the provincial and state budgets.
Twelve working groups have been established to deal with the floods in Medan, according to provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPPD) head Riadil Akhir Lubis.
“They are working to realize a flood-free Medan by 2022,” he said.
Medan Deputy Mayor Ahyar Nasution said his administration was serious in dealing with the floods by involving the people and other parties.
He claimed various steps had been taken, including normalizing waterways and city drainage as well as improving the function of inlets on the roads.
“But, we have not yet succeeded. Floods continue to occur in Medan,” he said.