President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has arrived at the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. after a 25-hour trip from the US, and immediately departed to Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) regency by land.
In the entourage that welcomed Jokowi at the airport was South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Culture and Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Anies Baswedan, Health Minister Nila Moloek and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Willem Rampangilei.
"The President will work from the OKI regent office for a few days," said Presidential communication team member Ari Dwipayana in a press release on Thursday as quoted by setkab.go.id.
According to Ari, Jokowi wanted to ensure a more effective handling of forest and land fires as well as haze-affected citizens, especially regarding emergency health services, education and social aid.
Jokowi also wants to take preventive steps as well as open cases against the offending companies.
OKI and Musi Banyuwasin regencies in South Sumatra are currently among the regencies producing the largest number of hot spots.
"The haze [in these regencies] is very wide spread. The smoke is brought by the wind to the north and northwest and is thus blanketing Jambi, Riau and other parts of the region," said Ari.
Jokowi reportedly also plans to survey the Anak Dalam tribe in Soro Langu regency in Jambi and oversee the haze countermeasure efforts in Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan. (kes)(+)