President Joko Widodo Instructs to Do Canalization
Date 28 September 2015
After performing Eid Al-Adha prayer at Al Karomah Mosque, Martapura, South Kalimantan on Thursday (24/9), President Joko Widodo directly visited the hotspot location in Henda Village, Jabiren Raya sub-District, Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan on Thursday (24/9) afternoon.
Initially, President Widodo inspected the inside of the forest only with Pulang Pisau Regent for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, he returned to the edge of the forest to invite Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Head of National Agency for Management Disaster (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei, Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) Commander Gatot Nurmantyo, and National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti.
To the reporters, the President admitted that the more dense haze in Pulang Pisau was caused by the fire which happens almost in all locations. We have to convey the truth. There are many peatlands here, President Widodo said.
The President stated that the solution to cope with the forest and land fire in Central Kalimantan was by canalization. Therefore, the President admitted that he has instructed BNPB and Ministry of Environment and Forestry to build the canal quickly which will be executed by Armys Engineering Directorate (ZENI).
If we do not do that, the problems will not be solved. We have seen that there are about 1900 hectares are burned in Pulang Pisang regency. If we do not do a concrete and quick action, the problems will continue again and again, the President stated.
Regarding the security during canalization, the President has instructed the Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) Commander and the National Police Chief to be involved in giving security. He also reminded that many people still think that the land clearing can be done by burning the land. We have to give a massive dissemination to the people so that they do not burn the land anymore, he noted.
Moreover, President Joko Widodo instructed the reporters to ask Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya related to concessions. However, the President said that he has instructed to make concessions again. The land owner must build reservoir, canal and drainage so that water demand will be fulfilled at the crucial moment.
Do not be like this. It is impossible if the firemen extinguish the fire only at the edge but not to the centre of the hotspot location. This is not only a mid term plan but also a long term plan which must be realized soon. We do not want this situation happen every year again and again, the President stated.
The President also reminded that the canal is used for obtaining water, not for dumping water. This is not allowed and we have warn about it. he said.
The Regent asked me how many canals that will be built? I said that the canal will be built in many prioritized places prone to fire. The Regent has known the locations and he has been informed about two locations that must be built immediately, President Widodo said.
Accompanying the President on that occasion were Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Minister of Environment and Forest Siti Nurbaya, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Minister of Education and Culture Anis Baswedan, Head of BNPB Willem Rampangilei, Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) Commander Gatot Nurmantyo, National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti, and Pulang Pisau Regent Edy Pratowo. (SLN/UN/ES) (JS/MMB/YM-Naster/Sy)