Jakarta Governor Skeptical about Giant Sea Wall Project

Jason Loghry, Birds Korea

Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the acting Governor of Jakarta, has voiced that he is skeptical about the feasibility of the Giant Sea Wall project, a project worth (IDR)500 trillion, saying that it might not be an efficient way to tackle persistent flooding in the capital. Here are some of his reasons:

” When I went to South Korea, I visited the Saemangeum sea wall to study it […] I concluded that it might not be as effective as we expected,” he said on Thursday.

Ahok pointed out that the Saemangeum sea wall, which is located on the southwest coast of the Korean peninsula, was not without problems.

“The Koreans struggled to ensure that the water that flowed toward the sea wall was clean, so that it didn’t turn into a lake of mud […] so they had to work on the rivers. But they only have two rivers, while Jakarta has 13 heavily polluted rivers. Thus, flushing [the mud] will be very problematic.

“It will also definitely limit the [range available for] fishermen, which means we will have to relocate them. With the Saemangeum sea wall, three fishermen recently died because they tried to fish in a dangerous area near the sea wall gate. This happened in an advanced country with advanced technology,” Ahok said.

“I believe we have enough experts here in Jakarta. Technology and money are definitely not the issues. The real challenge in tackling the flood issue is corruption. I suspect that fraudulent practices [occur] in most infrastructure projects [undertaken] in Jakarta,” he said.”

You can read the full article here, at the Jakarta Post.

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