The problem is complex and is dependent on a number of factors. One of which goes back to the same Dutch ingenuity that I spoke about in an earlier entry. Remember those canals they dug through Jakarta to make it feel more like home – like Holland? Well over the centuries, those canals have been clogging up with mud, garbage and all forms of debris. They are no longer watery conduits, but breeding grounds for insects, filth and disease. In the rainy season, the canals also limit the ability of rain water to penetrate the earth – and so the extra water floods across many parts of the city.
How do I know about this? Well, it just so happens that the first evening event I attended in Jakarta was a lecture by a World Bank specialist on flooding. You might not think that would be a very interesting subject, but it turns out that the talk was fascinating and the computer-generated simulations that were shown were amazing. He talked about all the different factors that lead to flooding, as well as the myriad ways in which the problem could be attacked. What did this expert believe was the least expensive, most effective means of making a significant difference? Cleaning those canals, of course.
The image comes from http://lautjenny.blogsome.com/images/FloodinginJakarta.jpg