Indonesia: Harvest failures loom as floods wash out regions

Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, Ganug Nugroho Adi and Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post 13 Feb 16;

Farmers in Sumatra and Java are on the verge of another harvest failure as floods submerged thousands of hectares of farmland in the respective regions this week.

In South Solok regency, West Sumatra, floods triggered by heavy rains over the past several days have damaged at least 800 ha of rice fields across six districts due to mud accumulation.

“The figure, however, does not include the affected side crop areas,” said South Solok Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Editorial on Friday.

He also expressed concern over limited food supplies for local residents following the floods.

“Many local farmers were set to harvest their crops over the next two weeks. With everything in their field damaged, what shall these people eat next month?” said Editorial, adding that more than 1,500 local residents had fled the neighborhood due to the disaster.

In West Sumatra’s Limapuluh Kota regency, floods have submerged 2,490 ha of rice, corn and chili fields and, of the affected farmland, 4.5 ha is currently confirmed to have experienced crop failure.

“The failure is likely to cost local farmers around Rp 1 billion [US$74,100],” agriculture and horticulture agency head Aprizul Nazar said.

After a prolonged dry season, the rainy season finally arrived in many parts of the country in December and has intensified since then.

While last year’s extended dry season, caused by the El NiƱo weather phenomenon, saw thousands of ha of farmland experience crop failure, a series of heavy downpours over recent weeks has created similar anxiety among farmers and local residents in the country’s flood-prone regions, including North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, and Central Java.

In Riau, floods have hit three regencies: Kampar, Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi. Leaders of the three regencies have declared an emergency response status, saying they were overwhelmed with anticipative measures.

Floods also occurred in Sukoharjo and Surakarta in Central Java following incessant rain from Wednesday to early Thursday. In Sukoharjo regency, hundreds of homes in Bondosari, Grogol, Mojolaban and Bulakrejo districts were engulfed.

The floods originated from secondary irrigation channels from the East Colo Dam, a tributary of the Bengawan Solo River, one of the country’s longest rivers, engulfing both hundreds of homes and at least 300 ha of rice fields.

“More than 200 homes were submerged by up to 1 meter of water. The BPBD, together with volunteers, TNI and police personnel were at hand to help residents,” Sukoharjo BPBD acting head
Suprapto said.

Meanwhile in Magelang regency, a 3-meter-high cliff in Sidosari subdistrict, Salaman district, collapsed on Wednesday evening due to heavy rain, destroying two houses.

No fatality was reported as a result of the incident but the inhabitants were forced to evacuate.

In Grobogan regency, heavy rains caused the Lusi River to overflow and flooded residential compounds in Plendungan and Jetis for the whole of Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile the Pekalongan municipal administration has prepared seven evacuation centers to accommodate people displaced by floods as an anticipatory measure considering the high intensity of rain across the region.

“We have also prepared temporary shelters in every subdistrict. The assembly site is the subdistrict hall, From here we will proceed to accommodate affected people at prepared shelters,” Pekalongan BPBD official Hengki Susilo Hadi said.


Jakarta braces for flooding during peak rainy season
Fardah Antara 13 Feb 16;

Flooding in the Harmoni, Central Jakarta, area after heavy rains on Tuesday (February 09, 2016). (TMC Polda Metro Jaya)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Jakarta administration is intensifying efforts to normalize sewage systems in the capital city as the rainy season is forecast to reach its peak in February 2016.

In early February, floods reaching a height of up to 120 cm inundated 20 neighborhoods in South and East Jakarta municipalities.

"Pumps were used to drain water. Gradually, the floodwaters are receding," spokesman of the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD Bambang Suryaputra said February 4.

In East Jakarta, flood-affected areas included Cawang, Kampung Melayu and Bidara Cina, and in South Jakarta it was Pejaten Timur, Pengadegan, Rawajati, Kebon Baru, and Bukit Duri.

Following the incessant downpour on February 12, the Ciracas Police Complex was flooded, Jakartas Police reported on its official Twitter account @TMCPoldaMetro in the evening.

Penggilingan Baru and Kampung Pulo areas in East Jakarta were also inundated.

The Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD DKI) has reminded the public that the capital city is currently under the third alert status of flooding.

The water level in several sluices has reached the third alert status at 2:20 a.m. local time on February 13, the office wrote on its official Twitter account @BPBDJakarta.

In East Jakarta, flood-affected areas included Cawang, Kampung Melayu and Bidara Cina, and in South Jakarta were Pejaten Timur, Pengadegan, Rawajati, Kebon Baru, and Bukit Duri.

The water level reached a height at 173 cm/MT in Pasar Ikan sluice, 190 cm/MT in Pluit dam, 30 cm/G (alert 4) in Katulampa, and 130 cm/M (alert 4) in Depok, in addition to 790 cm/MT (alert 3) in Manggarai, 510 cm/MT (alert 3) in Kelapa, 160 cm/MT (alert 3) in Krukut Hulu, and 120 cm/MT (alert 4) in Pesanggrahan. It had also reached 145 cm/M (alert 4) in Angke Hulu, 150 cm/M (alert 3) in Cipinang Hulu, 110 cm/T (alert 4) in Sunter Hulu, and 380 cm/T (alert 4) in Pulogadung.

The Jakarta administration is planning to install CCTVs in every pump house across the capital city, aimed at monitoring the water level in every sluice. Of the existing 150 water pump houses, only 12 have CCTVs currently.

The BPBD DKI Jakarta has mapped out that 34 urban villages in Jakarta are categorized as very prone to flooding, and 57 others are in the "prone" category.

The office has trained 5,000 volunteers in 124 urban villages to help mitigate the impacts of flooding.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is currently drafting a contingency plan, as the peak of the rainy season to occur in February might trigger floods, landslides, and whirlwinds.

Floods were expected to occur in the capital city in February 2016, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho noted at a press conference on floods and landslides February 10.

Jakarta is on flood alert status from the first until third week of this month and will be on emergency response status in the third and fourth week, according to him.

Currently, the flood alert status covers 18 sub-districts that include 134 neighborhoods in 34 urban villages, with a total of 52,451 people, and 72 shelters for flood victims.

However, in January, the precipitation decreased and was uneven in January this year due to El Nino, he pointed out.

"Due to low precipitation in January 2016, the number of floods and landslides decreased compared to those recorded in January 2105. There was a 43 percent decrease in the number of floods, and a 75 percent drop in the number of landslides that occurred," he stated.

In the meantime, Jakarta Governor Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) has urged the World Bank to accelerate the implementation of the Jakarta Emergency Dredging Initiative (JEDI) project aimed at curbing floods in the capital city.

"We have urged the World Bank to accelerate the implementation of the JEDI project, considering that there are 1,058 conduits across Jakartas area," Ahok stated early this month.

The JEDI project is one of the measures to minimize floods in Jakarta. Its concept is to evenly distribute the flow of water in the city.

"By doing this, floods could be controlled, and the waters would recede faster. Therefore, we want the project to be implemented quickly," he emphasized.

Jakarta has 13 major rivers, of which the World Bank is in charge of dredging five rivers. The rest will be implemented by the Jakarta provincial administration and the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry.

"Through the Water Planning Service, we constantly dredge every existing water drain, so that every drain is open, and the water can flow smoothly," he explained.

The JEDI project encompasses seven packages. Package 1 comprises the Ciliwung River, Gunung Sahari, and Melati reservoir (including Kali Gresik and Kali Cideng Hulu rivers). This package is being implemented by the Jakarta administrations Water Planning Service.

Package 2 comprises two sub-packages: 2A Cengkareng Drain and 2B Kali Sunter Hilir River. They are being implemented by the Water Resources Directorate General of the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry.

Package 3 covers the Kali Cideng River in Thamrin, which is also being handled by the directorate general.

Package 4 includes the Kali Sentiong Sunter River, North Sunter reservoir, South Sunter reservoir, and East Sunter III reservoir, which is being handled by the Jakarta administration.

Package 5 being implemented by the ministry comprises the rivers of Kali Tunjangan and Kali Angke Bawah.

Package 6 covers the West Flood Canal and Kali Sunter Hulu River and is being carried out by the ministry.

Package 7 covers the Kali Grogol Sekretaris River, Kali Jalekang-Pakin-Kali Besar, and Kali Krukut Cideng rivers, and is being implemented by the Jakarta administration.

The project is estimated to cost some US$190 million. Of this amount, the World Bank will contribute about US$140 million, according to information on the World Banks website.

The Government of Indonesia and DKI Jakarta will contribute about US$15.5 million and US$34 million respectively.

A grant worth US$0.5 million from the Netherlands Government will be utilized to help strengthen Jakartas Flood Management Information System.

Indonesia is currently experiencing the peak of the rainy season that has caused flooding and landslides in 166 districts and municipalities in several provinces, including in West Sumatra, North Sumatra, Riau, Bangka Belitung, West, East and Central Java, Jambi, West Kalimantan, and Aceh.
(T.F001/INE/KR-BSR)


Social Minister to visit flood victims in Kampar, Riau
Antara 13 Feb 16;

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa is to visit flood victims in Kualu village, Tambang sub-district, Kampar District, Riau Province.

"I will see the locations affected by flooding in Kampar, and locations once hit by fires," Minister Khofifah said, here, Saturday.

She will present relief aid worth Rp696 million constituting food, clothes, and evacuation facilities.

The Riau provincial authorities have declared a flood alert status as flooding has spread and killed two inhabitants, while precipitation is still high now.

Three districts - Kampar, Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi, have also declared flood emergency status.

The Riau disaster mitigation office has disbursed Rp500 million to help flood victims in Kampar and Rokan Hulu.

In Kampar, 56 villages located in 12 sub-districts were submerged with floodwaters reaching a height of up to 1.7 meters. Some 26,614 families or 133,070 people were affected.

Floods in Rokan Hulu spread to seven sub-districts, and affected at least 11,438 people.

Indonesia is currently experiencing the peak of the rainy season that has caused flooding in several regions, including in West Sumatra, Bangka Belitung, North Sumatra, and West and East Kalimantan, in addition to West and Central Java, Jambi, and Aceh.
(Uu.F001/INE/KR-BSR)

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