Tag Archive for 'monsoons'

Can Jakarta ever root out the problems that cause so much destruction after every monsoon season?

Photo retrieved from: www.inquirer.net

“Jakarta, Indonesia, is one of Asia’s most flood-prone cities. Every year hundreds of thousands of citizens living in the capital of Southeast Asia’s largest economy brace for the loss of business, shelter and livelihoods.

Each year, as the rainy season approaches, the authorities insist they are ready to counter the tides of brown murky water, trash, and even animals, surging downstream. But the annual city-wide submergence continues.

This year’s sustained downpour threatens to prompt the kind of flooding not seen since 2007 when 350,000 people were evacuated from water-logged areas and dozens were killed. Already, at least 100,000 people have been affected. Army personnel have been deployed to some of the city’s poorest parts to clean up – a process likely to take weeks, if not months.

Asia’s monsoon season prompts annual debate about the state of infrastructure and the fundamental mismanagement of vital systems meant to keep some of the world’s biggest cities moving. With a population of 10 million, Jakarta’s latest battle to stem the tide highlights a deeper political and social problem: The government’s inability to remove and rehabilitate low-lying slum areas; an unwillingness on part of thousands of poor people to leave dangerous areas despite the risk to themselves and their families; and the overwhelming problem of waste and dumping, often cited as the biggest hindrance to keeping Indonesia “flood-free”.

Indonesia faces a formidable challenge: The country’s economy is growing at breakneck speed, its population is rising and the pressures on its decaying systems are mounting. The World Bank has stepped in to help save what it describes as a “sinking city”, due to rising sea levels, trash and annual rain. To dig the city out of its mess, the World Bank has invested $200 million to dredge parts of Jakarta.”

Read more: Aljazeera


Blackout: Weak monsoon to hit power, kill crops

Photo retrieved from: www.sott.net

“NEW DELHI: The faltering monsoon has pushed the country to the brink of severe shortages of power and drinking water, apart from hurting crop planting as India’s biggest water reservoirs need to be quickly replenished to generate electricity and irrigate fields for the rest of the year.

The situation can still be retrieved if the monsoon revives quickly, as forecast by the weather office, but the rainfall deficit has widened in the past week and total rains in the season are 31% below average, which has reduced rice planting by 26% compared with last year. This has also dried up many reservoirs, particularly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, where the water table has dipped sharply.

Hydroelectricity supply usually peaks in the monsoon months of July and August, allowing coal-fired power stations to plan maintenance shutdowns during this period. But this year, the power situation has deteriorated as demand has soared beyond what utilities had anticipated while many plants are idling or underutilised due to scarcity of coal and gas.”

Read more: The Economic Times