Jakartans clean up flood mess

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With floodwaters having receded in most parts of Jakarta, residents continued the grueling task of cleaning up their homes amid the threat of disease.

However, several areas in the capital, mainly in North Jakarta, continued to battle floodwaters over the weekend.

Representatives of the Indonesian Red Cross and the city administration toured the city’s flood-hit neighborhoods and sprayed disinfectant.

While the city received a much needed respite from the rain over the weekend, an official warned that more rain could be in the forecast.

Soetamto, an official with the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, said there was the potential for rainfall Monday in South Jakarta, Bogor and Tangerang.

“(On Monday morning through the afternoon) there will be some rain, but not heavy. In the afternoon through the night, Jakarta will be cloudy and there is the potential for rain across the city, with varying intensity,” he said.

Flooding last week affected 75 percent of Jakarta, forcing more than 300,000 from their homes and killing more than 80 people, mostly due to drowning and electrocution.

Piles of garbage washed up by the floods litter many streets in the city, along with dead rats and cockroaches, raising the fear of disease.

Flood victims, particularly those living in makeshift shelters, are at risk of a variety of diseases, including diarrhea, dysentery and leptospirosis.

As the water has receded, garbage trucks have roamed the city picking up trash and ruined household furniture. Fire trucks are spraying a mixture of water and disinfectant, and workers are scraping up the thick mud coating streets and sidewalks.

In Petamburan, Central Jakarta, residents, officials, soldiers and police officers collected 1,150 cubic meters of garbage.

East Jakarta legislative council speaker Andi Effendi Nur told Antara news agency that many people were left with ankle-high mud in their homes.

In Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, firefighters sprayed disinfectant and shoveled mud from the streets. Firefighters also sprayed disinfectant along Jl. Otista in East Jakarta.

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso has said the city’s priority now was cleaning up the mess left behind by the floods and preventing the spread of disease. As part of the cleanup, firefighters, soldiers and police officers have been deployed, joined in the effort by residents.

Jakarta Development Agency official Nurfakih Wirawan said Sunday the city administration has deployed 130 garbage trucks and 70 fire trucks. He said the Jakarta Public Utility Agency had made available 10 excavators and 50 trucks to assist in the collection of garbage.

In Petamburan, Central Jakarta, residents were helped by public order officers and volunteers from charity organization Dompet Dhuafa.

The Indonesian Red Cross supplied clean water in several areas in Greater Jakarta, and provided free medical care and sprayed disinfectant in hardest-hit areas to prevent the spread of disease.

“We can’t provide relief support for all areas so we are choosing the most fragile areas, the neediest and most affected areas,” said Mar’ie Muhammad, chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross.

The Red Cross deployed 20 volunteers to spray disinfectant in 1,500 houses in Bendungan Hilir, Karet Tengsin and Petamburan.

The organization also deployed three doctors and seven paramedics to three makeshift health posts in Bendungan Hilir to provide medical care for 1,000 people.

At state elementary school SD Petamburan 01, some 100 children whose homes were flooded participated in a letter-writing competition, with all the letters addressed to Governor Sutiyoso.

“I do not want my house to be flooded ever again …” one child wrote.

“We are suffering from diarrhea here, please send us food and medicine …,” another wrote.

Event coordinator Herman Susilo said the winning letters would be sent to the governor so authorities could understand the suffering of the people.

sumber: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20070211.@01&irec=0, February 12, 2007