Flash flood that hit the West Flood Canal (Kanal Banjir Barat), which is the downstream of Garang River (Kali Garang) in 1990, still left some terrible memory for the locals. During the event, many of them witnessed how their neighbors and even families fell victims, lost their lives and possessions. According to the incident record, the flash flood in that year inundated more than 100 houses and claimed 47 lives. Material loss was estimated to be at 8.5 billion rupiahs. The flood can be considered as one of the worst that ever occurred in Semarang City.
Flood resilience within the Garang Watershed in Central Java has at the least involved two main regions which are Semarang Regency and Semarang City. Semarang Regency, which is located in the upstream area, is ecologically important in terms of flood management that could affect the mid- and downstream area. Therefore, it is important to maintain the quality of the ecosystem and its services that contribute to flood prevention such as the storm water management.
Like most cities in Indonesia, Semarang, along with the surrounding Semarang Regency, are facing waste management problems. While Semarang has received Adipura (i.e. an award given to cities which are successful in managing their cleanliness), the city is still facing great challenge to manage waste. Each day, Semarang produces 1000-tonnes of waste, while only 15% of it has been self-managed by the community. This has motivated Reanes Putra Tito Magarwi to initiate a startup company called Sampah Muda.
It was only 8 am in the morning when the crowd gathered at the village hall of Kalisidi Sub-district. That day, people were gathering to attend the field school that had been conducted for three weekends in a row in Garang river basin, and today was the last one. The field school project, which started in August, was initiated by Mercy Corps Indonesia through a program called TRANSFORM which stands for trans-boundary flood risk management through governance and innovative information technology.