Floods Hit Greater Jakarta, Actions Needed to Improve the Disaster-Preparedness

messageImage_1665133198167 MTSN 19 Jakarta which was flooded due to heavy rain and overflowing water. (Photo: Forum Terkini News/Adinda)

Floods submerged many areas in Jakarta, Thursday (6/10/2022) due to heavy rains that flushed almost all areas of the capital city and overflowed several times. Based on data from DKI Jakarta Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) as of 21.00 WIB, the flood had inundated 90 RT and 17 roads in Jakarta.

Floods in South Jakarta killed at least three students of MTSN 19 Pondok Labu, South Jakarta. The three students died after their school was hit by a flood that caused the walls to collapse. Several students were injured in this incident.

The flood that submerged many areas in Jakarta had an impact on traffic jams. A big flood began to occur during office hours. One of the traffic jams is on Jalan TB Simatupang, or to be precise, in front of Cilandak Town Square. Motorbikes and cars that pass in this area can only walk slowly. Not only that, many motorbikes also seen entering the toll road.

Jakarta has faced large-scale severe flooding repeatedly over the past three decades. The 2007 floods were the worst to date, with inundation in some parts of the capital reaching five metres. Dozens died, thousands were displaced, and the city was paralysed for days, suffering a damage bill that reached an estimated 5.2 trillion IDR or US$400 million.

Non-structural changes have already been made to better protect Jakarta – laws and regulations that regulate matters such as water utilisation, conservation and management of water-related disasters. However, enforcement of the rules is still very weak. Standing in the way of successful reform is Indonesia's rigid, sectoral system of state administration: it is difficult for authorities to access the budget to empower them to adequately focus on solving region-specific issues such as floods.

For example, the Ciliwung-Cisadane River Basin Authority is tasked with managing water resources – including program preparation, implementation of construction, operation and maintenance in the context of conservation and utilisation of water resources. The authority also oversees the control of water in all kinds of bodies – rivers, coastal, reservoirs, urban drainage and more. The authority also has jurisdiction over 13 trans-provincial rivers.

The solutions are out there – it is now just a matter of implementing them in time to prevent more unnecessary tragedy.

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