Jakarta – Brightly coloured wooden and brick houses line a clean riverside path amid trees and vegetable gardens, a tranquil scene in the normally chaotic Indonesian capital Jakarta.
Residents have transformed the “kampung”, as traditional neighbourhoods are known in Indonesia, into a model of clean and green living in an effort to fight off the threat of eviction.
Tongkol kampung was once much like many other down-at-heel riverside communities found across the overcrowded, traffic-choked metropolis of 10 million, blighted by dilapidated housing and strewn with rubbish.
But a series of controversial evictions of waterside neighbourhoods in the past two years, aimed at getting houses away from the capital’s rivers to combat annual flooding, spurred the residents into making major changes.
“We want to prove that poor people can bring about change, change in their environment,” said Gugun Muhammad, a resident and one of the people behind the initiative to transform the kampung.