Spotlight: AIIB-funded projects upgrade slums in Indonesian capital

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Alat berat melakukan aktivitas pembangunan turap di seberang pemukiman kumuh bantara kali Ciliwung, Jatinegara, Jumat (3/10). Ratusan pemukiman liar dikawasan tersebut akan segera dilakukan pnertiban oleh pihak terkait karena pemukiman tersebut akan dikembalikan fungsinya menjadi trase kering Kali Ciliwung setelah dinormalisasi dan sebagian lahan trase kering Kali akan dibangun ruang terbuka hijau. ANTARA FOTO/Muhammad Adimaja/Koz/nz/14.

JAKARTA, (Xinhua) — People living in the Indonesian capital’s slums were glad to see that their neighborhood has got a facelift with tidy streets and drainage system.

The slum-upgrading projects financed by the Indonesian government’s loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have transformed their neighborhood used to be inundated with floods into a clean environment.

The better living condition that led to improved life quality among locals due to the projects was seen in East Pisangan neighborhood in Jatinegara district, East Jakarta.

The slum now has streets with asphalt and concrete-covered drainage system that can provide more spaces for vehicles passing through the neighborhood.

Untung Wahyu, a resident in the slum, said the projects have made the streets around the neighborhood covered with asphalts.

Besides that, the drainage system in the neighborhood has been in a far better condition as it is covered with concrete layers completed with bio-pore holes that allow for more water absorption.

“The streets are good, no floods have happened here since completion of the projects,” Untung told Xinhua.

With covered drainage system, he added that it prevents people from littering garbages into the ditch, making the neighborhood environment healthier than before.

Praising the tidier streets after the slum-upgrading projects, Rani Maulani, a housewife resident, said the concrete layers upon the drainages allow more motorbikes to park and better traffic in the neighborhood.

“Before the project bad traffic problems always occurred everyday here because there was not enough spaces for vehicles to pass through as many motorbikes were parked on the street,” she said.

The East Pisangan projects were part of a nationwide program to upgrade slums that kicked off in 2016.

AIIB channeled some 216.5 million U.S. dollars in loan to finance the program as the Indonesian government has limited budget to do so.

AIIB, a multilateral development bank launched by China in 2016, now has 84 members in Asia and beyond.

“We are very thankful for the help and aid to make it done. Without the aid we could not afford to develop all of these infrastructure in our neighborhood,” Nokaah Marfuah, a housewife in a former slum, said.

The Indonesian government has drafted plans to carry out slum-upgrading projects in 269 cities and regencies in all 34 provinces across the archipelagic nation.