Things can be tricky when 15 million people live in a city mostly below sea level, and which is sinking by 20cm each year. Every December, residents in Jakarta and Bogor brace themselves for scenes of apocalyptic inundation as the rainy season begins. 2017 was no different, with 180mm of rain falling on Jakarta in 24 hours, killing several people and flooding thousands of houses.
We have awarded researchers at ANU, the University of Indonesia, University of Waikoto and Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) with a Tactical Research Project grant for a project that intends to ensure households, communities and the private sector intensify their efforts to help resolve Jakarta’s flooding problems.
The researchers plan to:
- identify and measure the impact of floods on household welfare and poverty
- identify household and community characteristics that could help overcome the adverse effects of Jakarta’s floods
- understand how households are strengthening their long-term resilience to flood disasters through holding assets and savings and what role women in particular play in this resilience building.
Much of the water that arrives in Jakarta flows from neighbouring Bogor—a city that receives 3,000-3,500mm of rain each year. February saw devastating landslides and floods ravage Bogor, prompting the AIC Urban Water Research Cluster to organise a series of four focus group discussions aiming to transform Bogor from the ‘rainy’ city to a ‘water sensitive’ city.
The first discussion group, focusing on the causes and solutions of floods and landslides took place on March 17 and was attended by Bogor’s mayor, the head of the city planning bureau, researchers, NGOs, the AIC’s Research Director and media. Participants heard about how Bogor’s irrigation system is struggling to cope with population growth, with housing estates and litter clogging waterways putting the system under immense stress.
During the focus group, the city of Bogor committed to resourcing actions to improve the water system and better educate residents about drainage and garbage in their neighbourhood. Newly appointed Urban Water Research Cluster liaison officer in Indonesia, Dwi Yuliantoro was integral to the planning and coordination of the focus group discussion.
The next focus group will be held on 14 April and will focus on generating clear alternative solutions.