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Wet weather brings floods back to Ketapang

After El Nino weather conditions saw fires spread throughout Kalimantan in 2023, Indonesia’s wet season started in earnest in November 2023. As is now common, several parts of Kalimantan that had been suffering from drought in the dry season were inundated with rain and saw severe floods. This included Ketapang city in West Kalimantan, which suffered from severe flooding in the latter part of November and throughout December 2023.





The province of West Kalimantan is one of the most flood-affected regions of Indonesia, with almost 50% of people exposed to significant flood risk, double the national average of roughly 25%. Ketapang is one of the province’s worst affected districts, especially it’s low-lying capital city. Serving as the administrative centre of the district and home to approximately 92,000 people, the city sits on the coast of the South Chinese Sea, is only 1-4m above sea level, and has been built around the 197 km-long Pawan River.

Ketapang city’s residents have become accustomed to floods that close schools and businesses, inundate roads, and cause substantial damage to houses. To gain a better understanding of the causes of Ketapang city’s floods, Sangga Bumi Lestari is currently working with our partners AidEnvironment, Witteveen & Bos, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) to investigate the causes of flooding and develop suitable mitigation measures. Sangga Bumi Lestari are currently conducting land-use change and elevation analyses of Ketapang’s watershed, investigating the integrity of Ketapang City’s drainage system, and engaging with key stakeholders to amass a history of floods in the city and the perceptions about the causes and suitable mitigation measures.

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