A public cemetery in Kampong Beting, West Java is sinking due to the rising sea level on September 16, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
West Java's Sinking Kampong
BY :YUDHA BASKORO
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
Jakarta. Dry surface has become a rare sight at the sinking Kampong Beting — a settlement in the Pantai Bahagia village at the coastal area of Muara Gembong, Bekasi, West Java.
"There is no more dry land in our kampong,” Saman, the Kampong Beting hamlet chief, recently said.
Climate change has affected the lives of the Kampong Beting residents.
They are a fishermen community living in a maritime country. Growing up, they learnt all about the ocean. But the rising sea level is something more than they can handle. Over the course of more than a decade, the global calamity slowly erodes 1.7 hectares of coastal land in Kampong Beting.
The kampong itself is deserted. The constant coastal floods have forced dozens of houses and buildings to become abandoned, weatherworn, and on the verge of collapsing.
The Kampong Beting residents, who have no choice but to stay, are struggling in a fight they cannot win.
They have done everything they can to save their kampong from the floodwaters. Starting from building embankments, raising the house foundation, building houses at different locations, and carrying out river normalizations. But these efforts were futile as tidal floods never fail to inundate their homes.
The West Java provincial government has also not made significant contributions in saving the residents' lives.
"This village was crowded when they held a general election. The rest is like this, abandoned, our voices are never heard," Saman said.