Residents Feel ‘Slowly Displaced’ by Pekalongan Tidal Floods

Tidal floods on the coast of Pekalongan are a daily occurrence, slowly damaging houses and public facilities. The locals’ activities have also been hampered. Those who have money opt to move out while the poor have no choice but to stay.

pekalongan tidal flood
The residents’ yards and houses inundated by the tidal floods in Pekalongan. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, PEKALONGAN – Tidal floods that occur every day have brought sadness to the residents of Clumprit Hamlet in North Pekalongan. As the rising seawater inundates their neighborhood and damages their houses over time, they feel slowly displaced.

Yoni, a local village leader, said the height of the floods is getting higher every day, reaching up to 80 centimeters when it rains.

“The average height of the water is about 40 centimeters. The houses and roads are getting damaged over time. Although the houses have been raised, the tidal flooding that occurs every day slowly damages them,” said Yoni, Friday (12/24/2021).

He added that the flooding also hampers the locals’ activities. “The motorbikes that the residents use for work often break down due to tidal water ingress,” said Yoni.

Muh. Aris Marfai et al in their research on the Impact of Coastal Flooding and Community Adaptation to It in Pekalongan Regency which was presented in the 2014 Annual Scientific Week of the Indonesian Geologist Association (IGI) concluded that tidal flooding in Pekalongan Regency had caused infrastructure damages.

A resident crosses a road submerged by tidal flooding. (ACTNews)

Houses, roads, public facilities such as schools and health services, sanitation facilities, yards, fields, rice fields, and ponds were damaged. Community adaptations to tidal flooding include elevating the front of the house, building multi-story houses, migrating, elevating roads, making ditch embankments, making sanitation facilities above rivers, elevating pond beds, elevating pond boundaries with nets, and choosing rice plant seeds that are resistant to high salinity water.

“Some residents who have better economic conditions decided to move to a better location. Many residents did not move because their livelihoods depend on the village. While some others did not choose to move due to lack of funds,” wrote Marfai et al.

ACT distributes assistance

On Friday (12/24/2021), Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) and Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) Pekalongan distributed aid for tidal flood survivors in the area.

Residents receive food package assistance from ACT and Pegadaian Syariah Ponolawen. (ACTNews)

"A total of around 100 food packages were distributed to residents and Islamic boarding schools that were affected by the tidal flooding," said Aditya Nugraha from ACT Pekalongan.

Aditya added, in this activity, ACT Pekalongan collaborated with PT. Pegadaian Syariah Ponolawen. This assistance was sourced from the Pegadaian Syariah Ponolawen Benevolence Funds. "Hopefully this activity inspires other elements of society to help residents affected by the tidal floods in Pekalongan," he concluded. []