THE DEVELOPMENT OF COASTAL CITIES AND IMPACT TO THE ENVIRONMENT IN INDONESIA
1 Tanuwidjaja, Gunawan
1 MSc. Environmental Management (NUS), S.T. (ITB)
Urban Planner & Researcher,
Green Impact Indonesia,
Integrated Urban, Drainage and Environmental Planning and Design Consultant
Indonesia is an archipelago state which has 17.504 islands and 81.290 km coastline which is the second longest in the world after Canada. The total area of Indonesia is 7.9 million sq km, including with 1.826.440 sq km land areas. Further we are going to expose more the coastal regions and the ocean because of their most beautiful but fragile conditions.
Indonesian coastal zone has enormous development potential and at the same time, has solvability against negative development impact. Therefore, if the coastal zone is not properly managed, it is possible the zone might face destruction on its environment and conservation that, at last, effects negatively to the coastal zone and the community around.
Because the lack of environmental planning as well as environmental impact assessment, many coastal cities has suffered terrible environmental problems such as flooding, inland and water pollutions, air pollutions, wetland and coral reef destructions and the loss of biodiversity.
Major floods have hit coastal cities like Jakarta, Feb. 2002, Medan in Dec. 2001 and Pacet in Dec. 2002. Annual floods also occur in coastal cities like Semarang. These floods have caused human casualties, spreading diseases and many economic losses. For instance in Jakarta, 2002, floods reached 1.5 meters to 4 meters, sinking thousands of homes and forcing over 300,000 people to evacuate and seek shelter in public facilities.i
The major cause of the floods is the lack of environmental planning. Unbalanced land use seemed to be the biggest problems in coastal cities. Many wetlands area that transformed to housing and commercial areas have contributed the change in the water balance. This change eventually will cause flooding in the lowest points of the regions.
Secondly, the problem that causes floods is no integration in the water system development. These problems happened because of the low economic capacity and low human resources in the municipalities and government agencies in Indonesia. The lack of dimension of drainage systems and water bodies also contribute the flooding problems.
Thirdly, the problem is the improper management in water systems. The management of water system not only has to include government, but also has to include private and communities to ensure the accountability and sustainability of the process. The good management not only will improve the conditions of water systems but also has to deal with related problems such as garbage, sewage water and land use.
So far the solutions that have been made to flood are only temporary action such as flood disaster relief, slum area rectification in the riverside area and temporary rivers digging and cleaning. This problem needs more cooperation and attention from municipalities as well as provincial government.
One possible solution to floods problems is Polder System. For example in Netherlands this system has proven its effectiveness through the year. This system requires drainage systems, retention pools, water pumps and water gates. With this system the flood area can be split clearly and the volumes of water needed to be pumped also can be defined. On the other hand we have to research the impact of polder system on wetlands and biodiversity.
Another solution that has to be prepared is the participatory water system authority. This authority has to embrace all stakeholders of the water systems and to educate all users about the importance of good water management. The authority also has to give integrated solution to the other related problems such as garbage and liquid waste problems. Lastly solutions will reduce the flooding due to garbage and surface water pollutions.
Land, Water and Air Pollutions
Land and water pollutions have happened in great scale in cities in Indonesia, especially in coastal area. This is happen because of lack of environmental awareness, poverty and improper garbage and waste water handling.
According to a 2002 World Bank report, less than 97 % houses in Jakarta are not connected to the sewer system. ii The rich may be able disperse their waste water to private septic tanks, but most poor people that face lack of sanitation networks may dispose of their waste directly into rivers and canals. So how big are the destructions that will be caused?
These pollutions further also disrupt the surface water and groundwater. Enormous contamination as well as epidemics of gastrointestinal infections happens especially in slums and rural regions. For instance in of 2001, estimated 90% of Jakarta’s shallow wells were polluted by domestic waste.iii
The land and pollutions also are accumulated from industries. The Indonesian Minister of Environment, Mr Rahmat Witoelar described some multinational firms including the domestic subsidiaries of oil and gas firms (Conocophillips, Caltex, Unocal, Total E&P) and pharmaceutical firms (Bayer and Pfizer) got red labels for poor performance in environmental management.
In 2004-2005 environmental audits, 150 from 466 firms of them were given the red mark and 72 given black for not conducting the environmental management.iv Because many companies operate in coastal area, then PROPER cases can give us description how polluted are the rivers and the water bodies in coastal cities and regions.
A good example of massive water pollution is Newmont Mining Corp case. This company dumps more than 50 million metric tons of waste each year onto a sparkling sea in Buyat Bay.v It is believe that the waste from the gold mine has badly affected the bay and threatened the health villagers.
This practice has been stated to be unsafe and United States and other countries effectively ban the practice. This case has shown that mining companies tries to disobey environmental laws in their exploitation.
Program in preventing water pollution has been done by Government such as PROKASIH and PROPER. This project has improved a lot but the trend seems to be declining since there is no coordination between government bodies and municipalities, also the weak law enforcement in this particular program.
Our suggestion to water pollutions is to tighten the law enforcement through setting water systems authority to manage and control this pollution. This program further needs human resources building capacity and the cooperation between agencies and municipalities. Other real action needed is to revitalise the river and water body conditions. Lastly we also have to educate the private sector and the community not to disgorge waste water directly to the river and sea.
The major problem that causes the land, water and air pollution is the garbage problems. Generally municipalities don’t posses systematic concept, economic capacity as well as human resources to handle garbage in environmentally correct. This will further affect the garbage handling system and its final treatment.
The biggest contamination caused by improper garbage management happened in Final disposal dumpsite area. For instance in Jakarta, the final disposal area is named LPA Bantar Gebang , located in Bekasi District, West Java Province. It covers 108 ha area. First the facility was arranged to be as sanitary landfill methods but in real condition municipalities operated as semi open dumping area. This problem has caused massive pollution, such as leachate, methan gases, heavy metal, bad smell, also spread many diseases such as acute respiratory infection, bronchitis, asthma, myalgia, gastristic, skin infection, allergic, hypertension.vi
This situation also affects the ground water. Among 20 well in surrounding location only one is in good water condition. The rest are polluted with leachate and heavy metal. In rainy season, the surrounding community has suffered from bad smelt and many fly and rats invasions. In dry season, the waste burning process contributes smog and bad visibility as one of air pollution. vii
For instance Jakarta with 9.6 million populations in 1999/2000 produced 25,824 cubic meters per day. viii On the other hand, the Municipalities can only transported 21,876 cubic meters per day (84.68%), to final disposal dumpsite. The rest of garbage were lumped anywhere and threw into 13 rivers in Jakarta, such as Ciliwung River and Sunter River. ix
These has happened because only 716 effective trucks are owned by local government of Municipal Jakarta, which only could transport around 10 cubic meter per day. The other was owned by waste transport services, hospital, PD Pasar Jaya (traditional market operators), industries, and waste industries. Presumably there is not enough equipment.x But the problem hasn’t been solved since there are no proper garbage handling and treatment and policy.
One program that has been done in this field is the UNESCO program that has been implemented for 8 years in Banjarsari Jakarta. This case was initiated by UNESCO and Ibu Harini Bambang Wahono This project has suggests the practices of decentralized integrated waste management both in school activities and in neighbourhood association programmes. This program started the small household-based ‘waste separation and recycling centres’. The tools used are ‘waste-separation corner’ consisting of used cardboard boxes or plastic containers. The tools have been promoted for households of training participants, to enhance the process of waste management in the community. Local waste scavengers now collect previously separated waste and reach a higher degree of efficiency and income.
On a higher level, decentralized recycling centres on community level are also being promoted. The combined “small steps” are aiming to make waste treatment on community level and the principles of 4R (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Replant) part of a responsible life style in the context of environmental education for sustainable development
Now Municipalities of Jakarta has tried to set 4 new final disposal areas and set the new garbage management master plan. I think more municipalities have to do the same too to solve these problems.
Air pollutions also have occurred since the development of roads networks in coastal cities. The problems get worst by uncontrolled increase of number of vehicles. Private cars, motor and diesel public transports are the main air polluters in streets. Between 1995 and 2001, the number of vehicles in Indonesia grew from 12 million to almost 21 million. The air pollutions are worst also because of the use of leaded gasoline and diesel fuels, because both of them are believed could deliver unhealthily high concentrations of airborne lead. xi
One World Bank official in Jakarta states “Air pollution imposes costs of at least $400 million on the Indonesian economy every year.” The pollution disrupted public health, contributing numbers of inflammation of the respiratory tract. The particular disease was the sixth leading cause of death in Indonesia (after accidents, diarrhoea, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, and measles).xii
For reducing air pollutions we suggest to build control team to tighten the law enforcement in industry pollution. We also suggest co-operations with industry to follow the Kyoto Protocol to reduce gas emission. We also suggest the PERTAMINA to reduce lead-gasoline and diesel sale in the market. Lastly we suggest municipalities and police to reduce numbers of vehicles in heavy traffic time.
Every development will cause effect, but better to calculate and plan it than to let it destroy the environment and human being. We think we need in every development communities have to get involved in the process. This will make the development more sustainable in the future.
On the other hand, the environmental capacity need to be further evaluated before conducting the development. This would need a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment as well as Landscape Evaluation.
iv The Jakarta Post, Tuesday, August 9, 2005
v Brummit, Chris, Associated Press Writer, Batu Hijau Mine, Indonesia, August 6 (AP)
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