Lenny Tristia Tambun
The Jakarta administration says it will soon draft a master plan for Jakarta’s “giant sea walls” in response to alarming rates of coastal subsidence (or sinking) and rising sea levels, which is expected to dramatically affect Northern Jakarta over the next few decades.
The project will be funded by a grant from the Dutch authorities, as the Jakarta administration partners with the administration of the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Purba Robert M. Sianipat, an official working with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said the Rotterdam authorities were currently organizing a bid for a project consultant, with the winner expected to be named by mid November.
The drafting of the master plan is expected to commence in late November.
“The bid is being conducted in the Netherlands because the fund is a grant from the Netherlands,” said Purba, an assistant to the deputy minister for natural resources infrastructure.
“After the master plan is completed, then we will go on with next investment steps,” he added in Jakarta on Thursday.
Purba also said that the master plan was expected to be completed by 2014, after which time construction could begin. The project is estimated to take 10 years to complete, so the giant sea walls are expected to guard Jakarta along its northern coast by 2025.
“We will strengthen existing embankments [before] the giant sea walls are built. Because if we don’t do that, [tidal] floods may break down the embankments and inundate even Central Jakarta,” he said.
Purba explained Jakarta was in dire need of the giant sea walls because of the alarming subsidence rate, which is estimated to be between 10 and 20 centimeters per year, he said. The ground level of some parts of North Jakarta have even been reduced by 4.1 meters, Purba added.
A 2009 study by Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) climatologist Armi Susandi said a quarter of Jakarta will be submerged by 2050 because of continually rising sea level, which he said was a by-product of global warming.