The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed ministers, regional administrations and other relevant officials to anticipate crop failures and water scarcity because of the ongoing drought in many parts of the country.
“How many regions in this country have been without rain in the last 21 days? This means that we are on alert status,” Jokowi said as quoted in a press statement issued by the Cabinet Secretariat’s official website on Tuesday.
Previously, the President chaired a limited Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue.
The President said West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara were on alert.
Jokowi instructed ministers, heads of relevant institutions and regional heads to visit the affected areas and find ways to mitigate the impact of the drought and minimize the impact of crop failures.
“If it is needed, we have to conduct weather modifications and construct well, while the Forestry and Environment Ministry needs to monitor potential hot spots to prevent forest and bush fires,” the President added.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has reported that 1,936 villages in 76 regencies are affected by the ongoing drought. The worst-hit areas are in Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara.
BNPB head Doni Monardo said the agency had received requests for cloud seeding from a number of regional heads, adding that it had started preparations to carry out the President’s instructions.
“But we cannot work alone. We need to cooperate with the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency [BMKG], he Assessment and Application of Technology Agency [BPPT] and the Indonesian Military,” Doni said as quoted by tempo.co. (bbn)