‘It is just a face-saving policy to show government is active’
City News – March 14, 2007

The State Ministry for the Environment plans to check upscale residences in South Jakarta for the presence of percolation pits. This is one of the administration’s first real attempts to reduce the flood risk in the capital. The Jakarta Post asked some people what they thought about the issue.

Bambang, works for a private company on Jl. Sudirman, Central Jakarta. He lives with his family in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta.

There is no percolation pit at my house. The same goes for most of the buildings in the Pondok Indah area as the pits were not part of the facilities provided by housing developers.

I am yet to receive a notice from the central government or the Jakarta administration about it.

I am sure it’s true the pits will help reduce the likelihood of flooding and replenish groundwater supplies. But my family uses piped water from city-owned water utility PDAM, so what are the benefits of putting in a pit for my family?.

It is just a face-saving policy to show the public the government is doing something to resolve the flood problem.

But the government has not touched on the root cause of the problem: the city’s poor drainage system.

Everyone knows many areas of the city are prone to flooding. But what have the authorities done to address the problem? Why do they always blame the people?

Ernawati, is the mother of three children and lives in Pondok Kopi, East Jakarta:

I don’t know much about percolation pits. What are the benefits of having them in our backyards and who will foot the bill?

I don’t know where to put a pit since my yard is so small. My well is only five meters from the septic tank.

The government should subsidize the program. It cannot expect the people to pay when they are yet to recover from the recent flooding.

–The Jakarta Post