Baleendah district was started since the 1970s. During the 1980s, Baleendah was proposed to be the capital of Bandung regency, but Soreang finally became the capital. Since the 1980s, Baleendah have experienced flood because of Cisangkuy and Citarum overflow. Since 2005 until now, this area always flooded annually for about 2 weeks – 2 months with different flood height, some even reached 3 meters. The long duration of flood caused mud deposits in the housing areas and people are tired of cleaning the mud.
Flood and everything it bring made people in Baleendah left their house. They rent houses away from Baleendah where there is no flood. People tried to sell or rent their house in Baleendah, but no one is interested even if they sell or rent it for cheap.
“If you are looking for a place to rent, you can stay at my rent house for Rp 50.000 ($3.57)/month,” said Abah Edy, a respected elder.
Geographically, Baleendah located between Citarum and Cisangkuy river. When it flooded, the source sometimes from Cisangkuy upstream, and sometimes from Citarum. Cisangkuy normalization and high sedimentation are some of the reasons it could not hold water as it is supposed to.
The drainage system in Baleendah is also a mess. In RW 9, their drainage system is cemented and hard to be recognized and mapped. This system leads to Cisangkuy river, and if the river could not hold its water this drainage system is the water-passage for the flood. The cemented road also makes it harder for water to infiltrate.
Early warning system is working well by having information relay from Jaga Balai community in Majalaya. Majalaya is in upstream area of Citarum River. If Majalaya is raining hard, this community will relay a message to B2C2 (Barudak Baraya Cisangkuy Citarum) to warn people in Baleendah. The flood usually will take 2-3 hours to arrive at Baleendah. This is the golden time for keeping valuable belongings safe and evacuation. The message relay will be on WhatsApp and mosques’ speakers.
Something peculiar from our visit to Baleendah was boat in front of houses. None of the people in Baleendah are a fisherman. They have the boat only when the area is flooded. Some people even work as boat taxi during flood.
One of the suggestions from B2C2 to solve this annual flood problem is by making a retention lake on the upstream area of Cisangkuy and Citarum. Also limiting the sedimentation on Cisangkuy by reducing the erosional level in Pangalengan.
We hope every activity which have been done and will be done to solve this annual flood can help the community.