Bamboo conservation along Ciliwung watershed can prevent floods

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Bamboo conservation along the Ciliwung watershed can be an alternative measure for long-term flood prevention.

"Bamboo can be a long-term alternative solution to flood prevention in Jakarta," Coastal Program Officer and Chairman of the Small Islands Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI), Basuki Rahmat, said here on Thursday.

KEHATI has been cooperating with various sections to plant bamboo saplings around the Ciliwung watershed in order to prevent floods and erosion.

In addition to preventing floods, bamboo is more environmentally-friendly than stereo foam and other materials.

"If the Jakarta government prohibits restaurants from using stereo foam, then people living around the Ciliwung river will enthusiastically plant more bamboo saplings. This will also earn them some extra income," he affirmed.

Unorganized development of cities will damage the ecosystem and affect their surroundings.

Rainwater will be absorbed by plants and soil in green spaces or will be streamed to places that can hold water, such as a dam in the city.

However, large cities such as Jakarta lack sufficient green spaces. Law No. 26 of 2007 states that of the total area of any city, 30 percent should be green space.

Jakarta currently has only about 10 percent green space, so the absorption and water capacity of urban ecosystems are often inadequate.

Earlier on Tuesday, some 5,986 Jakarta residents were forced to evacuate to safer places as floods continued to inundate the capital city, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

"Some 5,986 people have taken shelter in 14 locations," BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho stated here Tuesday, adding that the number of evacuees was likely to increase as more reports were awaited from field officers.

The Jakarta disaster mitigation office reported that floods have affected 307 neighborhoods located in 97 urban villages in 33 subdistricts.

"Floods have affected 4,830 families constituting 15,517 people as their houses were inundated. Some 5,986 people have taken refuge in temporary shelters," he stated.

Of the total flood-affected neighborhoods, some 108 neighborhoods in 23 urban villages across eight subdistricts are located in West Jakarta. Some 8,237 people of 2,738 families remain affected by floods.

"Around 1,668 people have been evacuated in two locations. In Central Jakarta, 11 neighborhoods in eight urban villages across six subdistricts were inundated, but there have been no evacuees," he revealed.

In South Jakarta, floods hit 38 neighborhoods in 21 urban villages in seven subdistricts, with the number of flood victims reaching 7,280 across 2,092 families.

In East Jakarta, 60 neighborhoods in 27 urban villages in seven subdistricts have been flooded and 1.8 thousand refugees have been accommodated in six temporary shelters.

At least 89 neighborhoods in 18 urban villages in five subdistricts have been affected by floods in North Jakarta, forcing 2,518 people to seek shelter in six locations.

Incessant heavy downpours have triggered floods in various parts of Jakarta since Sunday.(*)