It’s January, Time for Jakarta to Catch up with Venice

But you cannot find any gondolas around the city…

Only rafts or tons of trash drifting along the streams or sewage.

As usual, January has always been the best time to swim as the rainfall is reaching its peak. It should have been fun if there were no risks of leptospirosis or no snakes involved.

So last Thursday (23/1) I was assigned to be on the field to cover the corporate’s social responsibility campaign and there were around 20 of us, spreading 8 cars filled with disinfectant, mop, blanket, formula milk, instant noodles, etc.

The morning trip was as chaotic and stressful as hell. We followed the wrong person when we felt pretty sure this man would show us the right way. It turned out he asked us to get employed in the company. And he misled us somewhere else.

It wasn’t raining as hard as before, luckily. So we could reach the given place at the right time, without losing the right moment of taking pictures (but no selfies in fear of being called “morally insensesitive and unempathic”).

We got back to the “Rumah Saya”, a base camp belonging to Joko Widodo’s supporters. It’s not that the company is politically affiliated with a certain party or political figures but that’s because it’s one of the channels known to be most intensively built with many volunteers ready to lend a hand.

As we got to Jagakarsa, there was no sign of flood. Some people we met on the way said,”There is no more flood here.” But as we talked further, we found out the flood may hit at night, as the donwpour is likely to fall at night or early morning when people are still asleep.

Afterwards, we were taken by one of the local volunteers who provided shelter at her dry home to Setu Babakan, a man-made lake or reservoir. It is the point where the streams from Parung and Depok flow to the bay of Jakarta.

She told us how the bushy area of Jagakarsa, which formerly was an area filled with trees of fruits, is now turned into an area of housings. Needles to say…

We visited one of the houses filled with refugees. And one elderly passed away, the corpse was temporarily placed on a divan and separated only with a sheet of fabrics.

The whiteboard tells us the damage scale, like how many houses are damaged, how many died, injured or stranded.

One of the cars loaded with supplies arrived already in front of the posko (post of refugees). No money is given because cash is too prone to misuse. You can’t believe in anyone when it comes to free stuff distribution.

Governor Joko Widodo frequently visits Setu Babakan, says the volunteer.


“Setu” means lake in the regional language.

Author: akhlis

Writer & yogi

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