Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Inauguration of Napun Gete Dam Tuesday, 23 February 2021 in Ilinmedo Village, Sikka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Cabinet Secretary;
Distinguished Governor, Deputy Governor, as well as Regent of Sikka and Deputy Regent of Sikka;
Distinguished Territorial Military Commander (Pangdam) and Regional Police Chief (Kapolda);
Distinguished religious figures, prominent figures;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My beloved people of Sikka Regency and East Nusa Tenggara Province.
I lose track of how many times I have visited East Nusa Tenggara. Each time I visit the Province, the local always request for dam, always request for reservoirs. This is indeed a reasonable request, do not ask for other thing. It is because the key to people’s welfare in East Nusa Tenggara is the availability of water. It is water. If water is available, we can grow crops, fruits, anything. Afterwards, we take the fruits, and use the leaves for livestock (feed) since the Province is suitable for animal husbandry sector.
This morning, the Governor told me that Central Sumba Regency used to export cattle to Hong Kong. Why did it stop exporting? Because there is not enough water supply.
For that reason, seven dams will be built in East Nusa Tenggara. The construction of Raknamo Dam located in Kupang Regency has completed in 2018, and Rotiklot Dam located in Belu Regency in 2019. We are grateful that the construction of Napun Gete Dam in Sikka Regency has also completed, alhamdulillah, thank God the Almighty.
We only need to complete constructing the other four dams, yet the Governor told me this morning to add two more dams. In fact, other provinces only have one or two dams at most. Nevertheless, dams are highly needed in this Province. They are not necessary but pivotal.
Napun Gete Dam, as reported by the Regent, which is built on 99 hectares of land, can accommodate 11.22 million cubic meters of water and irrigate 300 hectares of land. It is a huge leap. The dam must increase people’s productivity, not only the agricultural products, but also agricultural waste utilized as feeds for livestock.
If the construction of other dams is completed one by one, I believe with support from competent governors and deputy governor, as well as competent regents and deputy regents who lead the people and encourage them to be more productive, I believe, it will soon bring prosperity to East Nusa Tenggara so that the Province will no longer fall into ‘underdeveloped region’ category. We will see the progress when all dams are built.
This morning, the Governor requested for a dam in Central Sumba Regency. I spoke to Regents, the requested are the same, dams or reservoirs. They have similar requests. How about building embung (retention basins)? They also need it. They need everything that related to water, and this is indeed a reasonable request. How about making artesian well? It is also needed. “Sir, we need this number of retention basins, this number of artesian wells, and two dams”. Those are reasonable and right requests. Do not make other requests. Those are the right ones.
After this occasion, I will inspect food estate in Central Sumba Regency. This location can also become a food estate area if the land is ready to be planted. Yesterday, I have ordered government in Belu Regency to take water from Rotiklot Dam to irrigate crops.
This is the future that we long for. Turn food deficit to surplus. It is because Central Sumba only has one harvest time in a year. Through the availability of water, I ordered Minister of Agriculture to bring in rice harvest twice a year, and corn harvest once a year. There are three harvest times in total. This is the leap of productivity.
I conclude this remarks on this auspicious occasion. By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare Napun Gete Dam in Sikka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province officially inaugurated.
I thank you.
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh. (RAS/LW)