PRESS RELEASE ARUM (PEOPLES ALLIANCE FOR CITARUM)
FOR THE WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
“Management is not effective, ADB is delaying the loan disbursement for Citarum River project (ICWRMIP) “
June 5, 2013
The eyes of the international and national levels are currently focused on the Citarum as the longest “dustbin” in the world and need of immediate action. Unfortunately, the government’s program to rehabilitate the Citarum watershed is still in an unclear orientation, even tends tmerely securing the water supply for Jakarta. ICWRMIP (Integrated Citarum Water Resources Management Investment Program) as one way to address these issues has been designed by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) since 2005. Subsequently in December 2008, the ADB Board of Directors approved funding scheme (read: debt) amounted to 500 million USD. The program is being divided into 4 tranches for the next 15 years through Multitranche Financing Facility (MFF). In 2009, the first tranche of the loan of Rp. 50 billion was disbursed.
Civil society groups in Indonesia have warned the Government of Indonesia and ADB about this program since January 2008 and discovered a wide range of loopholes in the project preparation stage. However the ADB Board of Directors still approved ICWRMIP in December 2008 despite the submission from CSOs. The submission has described the potential for corruption and violation of the ADB policy as there is no clear and transparent public participation process, the potential for expropriation for at least 872 households living on the embankment of Karawang and Bekasi and also related to the unclear design and project objectives. The groups have warned that the project is likely to be potentially inefficient, and that in the end it will only add to the burden of foreign debt in countries. They have also sent the submission to the relevant parties at the ADB and the Government of Indonesia.
“Various attempts have been done by the civil society since 2008, such as meetings with ADB officials, Bappenas, Citarum River Region Agency (BBWS Citarum), Bekasi local government, and also sent a letter of concern to numbers of other parties related to the project. Lastly, the people affected they themselves have complained through the ADB accountability mechanism since 2011, “said Dadang Sudardja, coordinator of the Peoples Alliance for Citarum (ARUM).
To this day, five years since the first loan disbursement, inefficiency, which feared civil society from the beginning, has been proven. The project halted and forced ADB to postpone the next phase. Even the findings of the State Audit Board (BPK) says:
“… That the basin water resources management over the budget period 2009 to 2012 is less effective. Still found weaknesses in terms of inter-agency coordination and management of water quality and water pollution control in the basin, which is comprised of 26 cases of ineffectiveness worth Rp. 3.93 Billion. In the second half of 2012, the State Audit Board has checked the performance of the natural resources in the basin eight objects, namely 3 ministries and 5 Provincial Government (district/city level) “
“The results of the performance management of the Citarum investigation also revealed the findings on one case of state/province loss worth Rp. 441, 10 million, one case of the shortfall worth Rp. 22, 32 billion, one case of inefficiency, six cases of deviations in the administration, and 16 cases of internal control weaknesses, “
Furthermore BPK states:
“There are two planning and coordination of the management of the Citarum basin Roadmap prepared by Bappenas and the pattern of the Citarum River management plan drawn up by the Ministry of Public Works. This resulted in the potential for the management of the Citarum River vagueness, especially for the relevant agencies at the central and local management. The cause is a lack of coordination between the Ministry of Public Works and the National Development Planning Agency when planning contract with the Asian Development Bank in the manufacture of patterns and plans for the basin”.
Muhammad Reza, from KRuHA argues that, “There has been a systematic ignorance in this ICWRMIP project done by ADB and the Government of Indonesia. We regret their ignorance on the inputs and warnings from the civil society and the voice of the victims of this project which has undergone expropriation are carried out through a misguided project design, and preferred to secure the water supply for the private operators as Jakarta drinking water service companies. “
Against the findings of the BPK, through Dadang Sudardja ARUM urged the Parliament of Republic of Indonesia and the Attorney General to follow up the investigation findings of BPK, by investigating further the perpetrator that has detriment the State. Government of Indonesia and ADB should also perform reparation to the damages suffered by the affected communities who have experienced expropriations.
Diana Gultom of debtWATCH Indonesia stressed the importance of the efficiency of financial management “Think of the debt of USD 50 million (equivalent to Rp. 50 billion), more than half (approximately Rp. 26 billion) is being indicated problematic,” she said. “And once we are indebted, then Indonesia will continue to bear the burden of interest payments on the debt, regardless whether it successfully absorbed/implemented or creating problems like this one,” she continued. Diana Gultom therefore urged the state to be more actively explore the potential of financial resources from the national budget to do the work effectively, accountable, and participatory rather than seeking funding through debt, especially when Indonesia wants sovereignty in managing resources and its environment in a sustainable way.
ARUM (People’s Alliance for Citarum)
“Water is life, River is the civilization”
Dada Sudarja, Coordinator ARUM (+6281223623243)
Muhammad Reza, KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water) (+6281370601441)
Diana Gultom, debtWATCH Indonesia (+628159202737)
ARUM is a network of civil society organizations and individuals who care about the survival of the Citarum River to be used for the welfare of the people as mandated by Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution. ARUM has monitored ICWRMIP (ADB Project for Citarum) since January 2008, and was in contact with National Planning Bureau, Public Works, BBWS, including ICWRMIP’s ADB management team in an effort to obtain information for planning ICWRMIP. ARUM has conducted studies related documents ICWRMIP and ADB policies. ARUM is also conducting monitoring to the field to see the implementation of this ICWRMIP planning.