In the framework of the 10th World Water Forum, the Indonesian government and world Water Council co-organized the Ciliwung River Clean-Up Action on the occasion of National River Day, July 27th, 2023.
The event was attended by distinguished stakeholders, including the Secretary-General of the Ministry of PUPR, Ir. Mohammad Zainal Fatah, representing PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono. A dedicated group of 95 participants from various minister, institutions, communities, and academia have participated in this significant endeavor.
The River Clean Up trek spans approximately 3.5 kilometers, starting from Kalibata Rawajati Bridge, through the Pancoran Riverside Apartments, and finishing at carrefour MT Haryono. This significant initiative aims to raise public awareness about the importance of protecting rivers as precious water resources as well as public space.
Ciliwung for life
The Ciliwung River has been held in high regard by local communities since the era of the Sunda Kingdom of Padjadjaran (932-1579). Serving as a central transportation hub and a source of livelihood until the 1960s, the river holds a special place in the hearts of Indonesian peoples.
The water clarity of Ciliwung river made it known as the "Queen of the East" during the 19th century. This river is home to a myriad of treasures, including over 270 endemic species of fish and riverine animals like snakes and softshell turtles.
Due to urbanization, population growth and economic development, the Ciliwung Rivers encountered serious water pollution problems. In response, the Indonesian government initiated a commendable 20-year river restoration program (2010-2030), with a budget of more than Rp 5 trillion or US $333 million.
The program's promising progress was marked by the reappearance of the asiatic softshell turtles on November 11th, 2011. The rediscovery of these previously declared extinct species is now celebrated as Ciliwung Day.
Active community participation
The Ciliwung River Clean-Up was conducted by approximately 15 rubber boats, sailing over 3.5 km. Participants, including the representatives from the Ministry, River Basin Centre (BBWS), and local communities were working together in tracing and collecting garbage along the riverbanks.
This meaningful initiative has garnered support from the community. The active participation and boundless enthusiasm of all involved reflect Indonesia's unwavering commitment to environmental restoration. This active involvement fosters a profound sense of ownership and shared responsibility for the Ciliwung River.
The Director of Water Resources at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Jarot Widyoko, said that it is important to work together to find out what everyone can do to improve the future management of our waterways, rather than blaming one another.
In addition to cleaning the river, the event featured diverse activities such as youth dialogues, a coloring competition for kindergarten and elementary students, planting 1,840 trees, water innovation exhibits, and awareness campaigns for water conservation. There are booths that not only showcase SME products but also promote the activation of the 10th World Water Forum.
Delivering the World Water Forum
The Ciliwung River Clean-Up serves as a poignant reminder of the power of collective action in safeguarding our precious water resources. As we fore ahead towards the 10th World Water Forum, such endeavors reinforce global commitment to address water-related challenges and build a sustainable future.
The significance of this river clean-up, uniting various stakeholders and communities, attests to Indonesia's unwavering dedication as the host of the 10th World Water Forum. With hope, this exemplary initiative will inspire similar in rivers worldwide.
The Indonesian government cordially invites all parties to contribute to the success of the 10th World Forum in May 2024. Under the theme of "Water for Shared Prosperity", the forum will put attention on issues concerning water resources, including rivers. Register here now! Together, we can forge a meaningful and impactful path towards the future of water.