Thousands affected by drought in Central Java without permanent solution
Ganug Nugroho Adi
The Jakarta Post
At least 50,000 residents living in 31 villages across seven districts in Wonogiri, Central Java, have been affected by drought since July, according to local authorities, which predict that the water shortage will last until October.
Wonogiri regent Joko “Jekek” Sutopo said that residents had tried to survive the drought by buying water for up to Rp 200,000 (US$13.60) per water tank, or around 6,000 liters.
Jekek further said a limited budget had hampered the administration’s plans to solve the water crisis once and for all. The regency required at least Rp 165 billion to build a better system, including pumping water from 180 existing groundwater sources to distributing it to residents’ houses.
Wonogiri regency allocated only Rp 2 billion this year to meet the residents’ water needs.
Water crisis is a recurring theme in the region, especially during the prolonged dry season.
“The water crisis should be addressed permanently to prevent it from recurring,” Jekek said.
Wonogiri Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Bambang Haryanto echoed Jekek’s statement, saying at least 488 tanks of clean water — worth Rp 81 million — were needed daily to meet the needs of 50,000 residents. (vny/swd)
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