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Jakarta Post

Robbing Demak to pay Semarang: Flood controls make erosion worse

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Demak, Central Java   /   Tue, October 1, 2019   /  07:17 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Houses are permanently inundated by seawater in Sriwulan village, Demak regency, Central Java. The water is creeping up to residents' houses due to rampant coastal erosion and land subsidence in the area.(JP/Donny Fernando)

Water used to be the first sight to greet train passengers arriving into Tawang Station in Semarang, Central Java, between the mid-1990s and late-2000s, when the station and other buildings in the northern part of the provincial capital used to be inundated almost daily by tidal floods, known locally as the rob. As a coastal city, Semarang’s most pressing concerns are usually about seawater. In recent years, the impact of floods has worsened as a result of rising sea levels, coastal erosion and land subsidence. Both the central government and regional administration have made efforts to tackle the problem. The city administration has joined hands with several companies to build polders - a flood-control system using dikes - in the Banger River to stop recurring tidal floods inundating Semarang’s northern coast. Apart from the polders, the authorities are also ...