Dutch to Help Save City From Drowning
Dofa Fasila. The Jakarta Globe, Jakarta - 10/07/2011
Authorities in Jakarta will cooperate with Dutch experts to prepare a master plan to deal with the capital’s flood woes, Governor Fauzi Bowo said on Friday.
Fauzi said the master plan, which would include a huge seawall in Jakarta Bay, would be administered with financial assistance from the Netherlands.
Ben Knapen, the Dutch minister for European affairs and international cooperation, said a Dutch team was studying flooding problems in the capital and creating a solution, of which the seawall was one component.
He said the master plan would need about four million euros ($5.7 million) and about 18 months to complete. Construction of the seawall could take 10 to 20 years, he said.
The government has said it hopes to have the seawall completed by 2025.
Fauzi said the seawall would involve the construction of polders — a Dutch term referring to reclaimed land on which dykes and canals are built to regulate water flow. He said the area covered by polders would be about 50 square kilometers.
“This is about 50 times the surface of the National Monument square,” Fauzi said. “Where can we find such a wide area? We are conducting a computer simulation and the only possibility is to build these polders in Jakarta Bay.”
He said a study by the Jakarta Coastal Defense Strategy showed there would be significant land subsidence and sea levels increases during the next 50 to 100 years. One of the more pessimistic predictions suggested Jakarta could be partially swamped by rising sea levels by 2030.
The study said Jakarta needed a large polder surface to act as a water reservoir and help regulate flooding.
Fauzi said Dutch experts were in the process of conducting a feasibility study on the seawall. The study, he added, would be used as the basis for formulating regulations as part of the master plan.
Computer simulations of all development projects related to the polders and the seawall would be completed before they were included in the master plan, he said.