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Jakarta Post

Living with floods

  • Editorial board


Jakarta   /   Sat, February 27 2021   /  01:00 am
Flood-affected residents sit on higher ground in Jakarta on February 20, 2021, following heavy overnight rains. (Agence France Presse/Dasril Roszandi)

Every governor of Jakarta has known very well that the city has to live with flooding as a result of its topography. Their success, therefore, should be measured simply by the severity of such flooding. They may claim to have done a lot to mitigate the flooding, but the fact that Jakarta has become more vulnerable to severe floods shows the flood-prevention policies have not been enough or have been too slow to anticipate the speed of environmental degradation endured by the city. There can be no denial that environmental destruction has played a part, if not the major role, in causing and exacerbating the problem. The loss of water-catchment areas, the disappearance of green spaces to pave the way for construction of buildings and roads, the exploitation of groundwater and human occupation of river banks for housing despite the law prohibiting any construction within 15 meters of ...