Indonesia prepares 200 artesian wells to anticipate haze during Asian Games

Antara 26 Jul 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) would drill 200 artesian wells in six villages in Ogan Komering Ilir, a land fire-prone area that could spread the haze to Asian Games venues in Jakabaring sport complex in South Sumatra`s city of Palembang.

"There will be 200 artesian wells. We are focusing on areas that could affect the Asian Games. Based on analysis, we have started to build (artesian wells) in six villages in OKI (Ogan Komering Ilir), which could spread the haze to Jakabaring," BRG`s Deputy of Construction, Operation and Maintenance Alue Dohong said here on Wednesday.

The agency has started drilling the artesian wells in three villages with aquifer level between 20 and 30 meters, namely Bakung, Kuro and Betung Island Villages, since three days ago.

In three other villages with aquifer level between 80 and 100 meters, the agency would have to wait for the appropriate design prepared by the Geological Agency of the Energy and Mineral Resource Ministry.

"BRG has worked closely with the Geological Agency to design artesian wells in areas with deep aquifer level, where conventional method cannot be used," he added.

Dohong remarked that the development of artesian wells in the six villages has been included in BRG`s working plan for 2018. Each village could have up to 50 artesian wells, and the agency would speed up its construction to anticipate land and forest fires during the Asian Games.

"Based on the information, the area is prone to land and forest fires. Therefore, we need to anticipate this," he added.

In addition to the artesian wells in OKI, BRG has also been tasked to build 120 artesian wells in fire-prone conservation area.

BRG would work in coordination with the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and South Sumatra`s environment office to block 18 canals in Padang Sugihan wildlife reserve.

Previously, the BRG and local BKSDA had closed 10 canals in the wildlife reserve and replanted 50 hectares of land.

Reported by Virna P. Setyorini
(T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/A/E002) 25-07-2018 21:20:47
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

Government discusses precautionary measures against forest fires
Bayu Prasetyo Antara 25 Jul 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has held discussions on precautionary measures against land and forest fires following the onset of the dry season in 2018.

"We are experiencing the dry season now. I have received information from regions on the emergence of hotspots, and that they have been overcome soon," Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko stated here on Wednesday.

Moeldoko remarked that efforts to overcome land and forest fires will involve some related institutions, including the Meteorological, Geophysical, and Climatology Agency; National Disaster Management Agency; Peat Restoration Agency; Transportation Ministry; the military; and police.

Moeldoko has summoned some governors from forest fire-prone areas, such as South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan, Aceh, and North Sumatra, and called on the police to conduct thorough investigation into land and forest fires.

"Certainly, the police will take legal measures. So far, no one have been arrested," he added.

Moeldoko stressed that the government will take stern measures against individuals or institutions that have started fires.

The measures are also aimed at supporting the smooth implementation of the Asian Games 2018 in South Sumatra`s city of Palembang and Jakarta as well as the IMF-World Bank annual meeting in Bali.