Indonesia: Wonogiri, Central Java still experiencing water crisis

Ganug Nugroho Adi, 16 Nov 15;

Rain has yet to fall in several districts across Wonogiri regency, Central Java, enabling the water crisis to bite deeper.

Up until the middle of November, rain has hardly fallen in five districts, namely Eromoko, Giritontro, Giriwoyo, Paranggupito, and Pracimantoro.

“It has started raining in other areas, but not in the five districts, situated at the southern part of Wonogiri, where rain has fallen just two or three times. The reservoir has not been filled so residents are still facing a clean water shortage,” Wonogiri Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Bambang Haryanto said on Monday.

He said the BPBD Wonogiri was striving to meet people’s clean water needs by dispatching 14 water tanks with a capacity of 6,000 liters each to the five districts every day.

“Besides the five districts, we still have to meet the clean water needs of other drought-hit areas, such as Manyaran district. Around 2,000 people desperately need clean water,” said Bambang.

He further said the BPBD Wonogiri had received information from the Semarang Climatology Station that for areas in Central Java, rain fell in the first and second dasarian -- a meteorological time period consisting of 10 days – in November. For a few areas in the eastern part of Central Java, rain will come only in the first and second dasarian in December.

“It is forecast that rain will fall in southern Wonogiri in the first and second dasarian of next month,” said Bambang.

He said the BPBD Wonogiri had extended the emergency drought standby status in the regency -- which was initially due to expire on Oct.31 -- to Nov. 30 after it was first declared in July. The decision was made because as of the middle of November, rain intensity had been low.

“As many as 18,169 family heads or around 67,320 people in eight districts still face a clean water crisis,” said Bambang.

From July to October, the BPBD Wonogiri dispatched 3,628 tanks of clean water to eight districts. Each tank contained in between 6,000 and 8,000 liters of clean water, which was provided by various institutions and individuals.

“To supply clean water for 67,320 people, we need 538 tanks worth Rp 94.1 million [US$6,838.55]. The longer the drought stays with us, the bigger the clean water budget will be,” said Bambang.

Separately, Pracimantoro district head Warsito said Pracimantoro residents had been experiencing impacts of the dry spell since April.

He said as many as 24,364 people or 6,250 family heads in Pracimantoro had experienced the clean water crisis. (ebf)