Press Release by Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)
On Monday, 16 November 2020, tidal floods hit Pari Island, Kepulauan Seribu, Jakarta. The tourist island has been submerged in water for two days. This is the second tidal flood to occur this year.
The head of neighborhood association (RT) 01, Pulau Pari, Edi Mulyono, said that the tidal floods in 2020 are different from previous floods. For the first time, Pari Island has been hit by two tidal floods in a year, the first in July and now the most recent event in November. The impact of this year’s tidal floods has been far worse than in previous years.
“Previously, the flood had never reached the land, at least the water only rises up to the shoreline, but now it is worse, there is an increase in water discharge. During the tidal flood that happened in July, it even brought the boats ashore,” said Mulyono.
A similar recount was expressed by Rohany, an elderly community member who has inhabited the island for 65 years.
Rohany explained, “Since I was little until now, it is only in July 2020 that the seawater rises to the street even when there is an embankment to [hold the water]. In other locations, the sea water reached the mosque in the western part of the island and community houses. I have never experienced this before. This is the worst flood that ever happened, and that has lasted for three days.”
Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) Jakarta sees that the tidal flood phenomenon that is currently occurring in Pari Island cannot be separated from climate change.
“The impact of climate change is real, the tidal floods have occurred twice this year in Pari Island, not only the flood but also abrasion in the western part of the island. The seasonal calendar is no longer definite, and the number of fish is declining. We urge the government to immediately take serious action both on a national and global level to curb the pace of climate change. Or do we have to wait for an inhabited island such as Pari Island to sink?” said Rehwinda, campaigner of WALHI Jakarta.
Meanwhile, due to the current floods, seven stalls owned by the local community in Perawan beach and part of the communities’ houses have drowned. One of the community members from RT 04, Ibu Deli, said her well has become salty and couldn’t be used properly.
“The impact is the same with the previous flood which occurred in July, the well turned salty, there are ten of the community’s houses affected. The difference is that the people do not have to evacuate,” said Ibu Deli.
Read the statement in bahasa Indonesia here.
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Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)