Thursday, 14 June, 2012 | 18:08 WIB
Dealing with Dirty Indonesian Cities
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Protesting against the ‘dirtiest city’ title bestowed upon their cities by the Environment Ministry, residents from Bandar Lampung and Bekasi have reacted immaturely.
Not everyone is ready to receive criticism and instead of deciding to improve their cities to win the Adipura award for one of the cleanest cities, the residents have demanded the title be revoked.
Strangely, the ministry conceded and claimed the Adipura Examination Board never gave out the ‘dirtiest city’ title. The board, led by Sarwono Kuwumaatmadja, said the two cities only ‘received the lowest scores in their environmental assessment’—in other words: the dirtiest cities.
The term ‘dirtiest city’ was indeed not the official term used. The Adipura Board only lists cities based on an index, which ranks them from the cleanest and tidiest to the dirtiest and most disorganized. The appraisals, including the bad ones, were not conducted this year only.
In 2005, Depok, Tangerang, Palembang, Bandar Lampung, Batam and Bogor were ranked lowest. The low ranking saw some cities clean up their act, but others demanded the board revoke the bad appraisal.
In 2005, Tangerang, Palembang and Batam all received the lowest scores. The cities have since worked to boost their image and the first two won an Adipura award this year. Batam, on the other hand, received the award three years in a row from 2007 to 2009.
The Adipura award is intended to encourage cities to improve their cleanliness, to become greener and more hospitable. So, the Adipura Board should not be hesitant in giving low rankings to cities that are dirty. The purpose is not to discredit the cities but to remind city administrators and residents to make improvements to their environment.
This spirit needs to be kept alive. The Adipura Board should not yield easily to objections from cities that are ranked poorly by the board. Objections are accepted but the board must be consistent with its assessment. Residents should also be more mature in accepting bad reviews because if they are prepared to win if their cities are rated as the cleanest, the residents should also be prepared to receive lower ratings if their cities are below par.