Attractive Lakes and Reservoirs, New Magnet in Makassar
In the midst of the bustle of Makassar city, residents are seeking oases to refresh their minds. When urban concrete scenes and rumbles of vehicles, a leisurely healing break at the edges of waters is the answer.
MOHAMAD FINAL DAENG, RENY SRI AYU ARMAN
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As a coastal city, sea views are not hard to find in Makassar. However, the largest metropolis in eastern Indonesia also has a number of reservoirs and artificial lakes in its hub that have lately become increasingly frequented alternatives for residents to calm down for a while, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic has eased off.
One of those often visited, particularly by young people, is the lake in the complex of Hasanuddin University (Unhas) in Tamalanrea district. Every afternoon, visitors are sitting around the lake, angling, having discussions or browsing on their laptops.
“I frequently come here for its fresh and delightful atmosphere. It’s a convenient place to ease my mind while exploring ideas for my college essay,” said Salman, 21, a student, when met on Tuesday (21/3/2023).
Fresh and delightful are the right words to describe the ambience of Lake Unhas. Large and shady trees shelter the edges of the quiet lake. This is in contrast to the traffic congestion on Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan, around 300 meters away from the lake.
Besides Salman, dozens of others were enjoying the lake environment that day. Some students were engaged in a group discussion while chatting amusingly. Others were savoring food and drinks and others having a virtual meeting.
“We have an association meeting and I choose to join via Zoom. It’s quiet and fresh here. In our boarding house, it’s stifling and noisy,” said Anggis, an economics student of Unhas.
In the morning, especially at weekends, this area is busy with people doing exercises such as jogging and cycling.
It’s quiet and fresh here. In our boarding house, it’s stifling and noisy.
Although located on campus, Lake Unhas is open to the public. The lake is close to Gate I of Unhas on Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan. There are two parts of the lake separated by the main path leading to the campus complex. The larger one lies on the eastern side with a total area of 4.73 hectares, quadrupling the size of the other on the western side.
About four years ago, the edges of the lake were partly arranged by the campus to make them comfortable for visitors sitting or strolling there. There are now several gazebos and a raised platform for visitors to view the lake from a higher level.
Unhas chief spokesman Ahmad Bahar said the original aim of building Lake Unhas, apart from beautifying or complementing the park of the campus, was also for the absorption of water, including flood control.
Ahmad explained that the lake was built at a time of the campus’ transfer from its old location in Baraya to Tamalanrea in 1973. One of the reasons for moving the campus to Tamalanrea was that the Baraya campus had once been flooded, disturbing students’ studies.
The lake built on the new campus officially opened in 1981 was meant to collect rainwater to prevent flooding. Ahmad indicated that the lake had also been frequently used for training by the students’ rowing team.
“The campus opens this lake area to the public. People from wherever they are can come to enjoy themselves by the lake. Even during campus vacation days, some of the main gates are left open to visitors,” he said.
The same but busier atmosphere can be noticed at Tunggu Pampang Reservoir in Manggala district. A corner of the 34.97-hectare reservoir is thronged by residents every afternoon. They are sitting while relishing various sidewalk snacks such as fried foods, meat balls, dumplings as well as soft drinks.
Some people enjoy the afternoon by angling at the flood-control infrastructure built in 1997. “It’s just for recreation while we have a day off from work. If we catch the fish, it will be released,” said Abi, 23, who was angling with his peer, Isal, 23.
Abi was happy to angle at the reservoir. He did not need to go a long way from home to enjoy the hobby and recreation for free. The view of the reservoir in the afternoon was also attractive to him.
He suggested that if possible, the edges of the reservoir be planted with trees. While serving the purpose of greening, trees are also useful to provide shade for visitors.
The reservoir’s ring road also attracts cycling enthusiasts who often pass through the route for easy riding. Usually, at every weekend and in the afternoon, the location is teeming with cyclists riding individually or in groups.
Along the ring road there are also cafes and coffee shops. Some of them are even equipped with balconies so that visitors can watch the scene of the reservoir with relaxation while drinking coffee.
City planning observer and practitioner Arief Isnaeni said the reservoirs and artificial lakes in Makassar had expanded the public spaces in the city with a population of 1.5 million. As he identified in 2011, the green open spaces (RTH) in Makassar were only 11-12 percent of the city’s area.
“In fact, the RTH should at least be 20 percent. At present, with increasing development, the number of RTHs has again decreased. There are now many more private spaces,” said chairman of the Regional and City Planning Experts Association of South Sulawesi for 2020-2023.
While related to city hydrological affairs, reservoirs and artificial lakes also have the potential for being utilized to promote economic, social and tourism activities. Nevertheless, said Arief, everything should be managed to enable all their functions to run simultaneously.
Today, two new reservoir development plans in Makassar are undertaken by the Regional Center for Pompengan Jeneberang River, which are Tamangapa Reservoir and Jambua Reservoir. Arief hopes the construction of both reservoirs is designed by including their socio-economic functions from the beginning to increase public spaces as well.
“As for the existing reservoirs, the regional government can manage them so that socio-economic activities can grow but without disturbing the main function of reservoirs,” added Arief.