Talk of a jetty being built in Bali’s Canggu that had hundreds of surfers and local community members protesting one week ago was all centered on a big “misunderstanding”, says a traditional village head.
Fears shot through the community that a construction project at Pererenan Beach would produce a jetty, that once finished would completely destroy Canggu’s legendary Echo Beach wave as we know it, just hundreds of meters away.
News of a paddle out protest on July 2 quickly spread, along with a memo from Persatuan Selancar Ombak Indonesia (PSOI), calling on all board-riders and concerned community members to ‘save the wave’ of Echo Beach in danger of demolition.
Coconuts Bali has reached out to PSOI president Rahtu Suargita regarding the memo, but the president has declined to comment.
“It was only a misunderstanding. They suspected this project would damage the waves. Yet the precise point of this project, of Badung Regency, was to manage the beach to be better, Pererenan Village Head I Made Rai Yasa told Nusa Bali on Friday.
The project, fully funded by Badung Regency and managed by their Public Works Department (PUPR) is to build an erosion embankment at the beach, not a jetty, claims Yasa.
Head of Badung PUPR Ida Bagus Surya Suamba says things spun out of control with so much “misinformation” circulating in the community, questioning the project. The construction is for a coastal arrangement project to build a revetment (the erosion embankment) to prevent further erosion, not to build a dock.
Along with the revetment would also be an access bridge, or walkway and kiosks for local vendors, says Suamba.
“There is also the structuring of the river, the construction of an access bridge, and the arrangement of merchants by building kiosks. So there is no construction of a jetty that will damage the wave, as alleged by some parties,” Suamba said.
“What is clear is that this project will organize Pererenan Beach for the better,” he added.
Full management of the kiosks will be handed over to the desa adat, the traditional village authorities.
The project was won in an auction by construction company PT Gala Tama, with a bid of IDR10,334,938,254 (US$721k).
But the thing that has many scratching their heads over the whole controversy is a rendering of the project that went viral at the time of the protest, showing plans for yes, a revetment and walkway, but also a jetty, very clearly marked out (we’ve circled in red to make it even more clear).
While it’s dubious that there never really was a plan for a jetty and the idea has been to only build a revetment and walkway this whole time, Badung Regency has not responded to any of Coconuts Bali’s requests for contact, so we can’t say for sure.
Meanwhile, you’ll notice there’s also a beach club indicated in the sketch. Following last week’s protest, Potato Had made a statement remarking that they are not involved in the project in any manner, but that they have put forward alternative sustainable designs and suggestions to preserve the surfing conditions.