Sabtu, 10 Januari 2009

Floodplain Settlement : A case of Kampung Mendawai

More development for new urban settlements in such rapidly economically growing areas and cities is, undoubtedly, a certainty. The development cannot be avoided because always there is a bunch of working people who are magnetized by a glimpse of an economic growth, needs to be housed yearly. More houses need more lands.

In an emergence of urbanisation, provision of lands for urban settlements, usually, become a big problem. Land price is definitely not affordable to the people. And as a solution, then, they looked for “another land” that could be possibly occupied in cheap price even for free. Unfortunately, that is a floodplain wetland nearby a river, a land that saturated with water long enough, an area that has biological function, ecological function, and hydrologic function.

Through the same way as it is, Kampung Mendawai, a kind of an urban settlement on a floodplain wetland in a growing city, Palangka Raya, has come to its existence. It has partly occupied the floodplain area, bit by bit, since its very beginning. Now about 2.94 km2 of its original size which is about 6 km2 has been converted. The conversion has definitely reduced a capacity of water storage that clearly made deterioration to a reliability of the floodplain in catching run-off volume of waters. And as a result, an unexpected flood annually comes to sink the urban settlement especially in a peak of a rainy season. It is a clear indication of a disturbance in a hydrology system in the floodplain.

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