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. Indonesia Allots One Billion Dollars To Prevent Floods

Floods and mudslide in East Java during 2006 - AFP image.
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) March 12, 2007
Indonesia has earmarked more than one billion dollars to prevent flooding in the capital where an inundation earlier this year killed dozens, a report said Monday. The flooding in February following monsoon downpours killed 85 people across Indonesia, displaced some 340,000 and paralysed Jakarta, a city of some 12 million people.

It led to searing criticism of flood prevention measures as foetid water sloshed around normally traffic-clogged roads for more than a week.

There were even calls to consider moving the low-lying capital elsewhere, as power and water supplies were disrupted in the interests of safety.

In response, the central government and the capital's local authority have alloted 9.5 trillion rupiah (1.04 billion dollars) to avoid a repeat, Public Works Minister Joko Kirmanto was quoted by the Okezone news portal as saying.

The money will be used for measures such as improved drainage, tackling rivers prone to overflowing and the completion of a major flood canal by 2008.

The government will provide 6.5 trillion rupiah, with the remainder coming from the local authority. Kirmanto said the money would be disbursed from now until 2009, but around 40 percent will be released this year.

Some experts say the floods occurred because poor city planning and an extended construction boom overwhelmed an old drainage system built hundreds of years ago by Dutch colonisers.

The inundation is estimated to have caused damage and losses also worth around one billion dollars.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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