Site 6: Menteng_Second Visit
During the second visit, our group decided to focus on four nodes of interest located around and within Old Menteng in order to better understand why particular areas of our site were or were not affected by the 2002 and 2007 floods.
Our first stop was Waduk Kebon Melati, an expansive retention pond that, despite the obvious contamination of its waters, attracted a playful group of schoolboys and a lone fisherman. In an interview, the fisherman recounted how sizes of catch have shrunk in the past several years due to the pond’s increasing pollution and stagnation.
Walking along the major West Banjir Canal, which directs huge amounts of the city’s run-off and wastewater north into Jakarta Bay, we observed polluted white foam streaming from the wastewater treatment plant that serves areas south of Menteng. Jakartans occupy the banks of the canal for activities like fishing, water trash collection, and sleeping.
In completely different urban conditions near the center of our site, we visited an extremely popular and shaded fishing pond. Old Menteng’s clean and extensive drainage system and visibly higher elevation levels are indicators as to why this area’s gated houses are often unaffected by the floods. Here, gates take a variety of forms and presumably hide a variety of expensive cars.
Our final destination was Mengarrai Lock. It is impressive for both its sheer infrastructural prowess and for the control that it has as it redistributes the flow of the Ciliwung River, and thus the extent of flooding in certain areas. The lock’s complexities certainly warrant another visit.