Drought affects 22 districts, cities in West Java

Drought affects 22 districts, cities in West Java

Drought has affected 22 districts and cities in West Java Province since August this year, causing water shortage.. (ANTARA /Dedhez Anggara)

Bandung, W Java (ANTARA News) - Drought has affected 22 districts and cities in West Java Province since August this year, causing water shortage.

"Based on data as of Sept 5, a total of 286,802 households face water shortage," Budi Budiman, an official of the local disaster mitigation office (BPBD), stated here, Wednesday.

The affected districts and municipalities are Bogor District, Bogor Municipality, Puwarkarta, Sukabumi District, Sukabumi Municipality, Bekasi District, Karawang, Cianjur, West Bandung, Bandung, Cimahi, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Sumedang, Indramayu, Tasikmalaya Municipality, Cirebon District, Cirebon Municipality, Kuningan, Banjar, Ciamis, and Pangandaran.

The prolonged dry season has also affected farming areas measuring 41,946 hectares.

The West Java provincial administration has declared a drought emergency alert from August to October 2018.

The local BPBD has, so far, distributed a total of 4,307,915 liters of clean water to those affected by the drought.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto has urged all the parties to be aware of the possibility of a prolonged drought in 2018.

"Due to a change in the weather conditions, the drought can last longer, and we must be aware of this," Wiranto recently stated at the Jakarta Presidential Palace.

He said that the hot dry season had led to forest and land fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

"Yes, there are forest and land fires since this is the dry season," Wiranto noted.

The former Indonesian Armed Forces Commander remarked that the government had reminded all parties to be prepared in advance.

Wiranto said that the number of cases of forest and land fires (karhutla) until August 2018 was lower than that reported in the previous year.

"Compared with last year, the fires are now less, as we were seriously prepared and all of us are making `all-out` efforts," Wiranto, who is also the former chairperson of the People`s Conscience Party (Hanura), explained.

According to Wiranto, preparations have been made by the task force, which is incorporated in Manggala Agni, and other parties.

Preparations have also been made with the construction of embungs, water pumps, integrated patrols, and water bombers.

"It is more powerful and stronger than before. We have done it. If we still have it, we will finish it," he emphasized.

He noted that specifically in Palembang, South Sumatra, some time ago, weather modification had been conducted that ensured rain in the area.

"Weather modification was conducted, but not every day, as the BNPB along with the Indonesian Air Force conduct such operations," he revealed.

He noted that cloud seeding cannot be conducted at any time, but attention must be paid to the cloud conditions.

"Salt is sown if there are clouds. If salt is sprinkled but there are no clouds, then no rain will be received," he added.

Reporting by Asep Firmansyah
Editing by Fardah, Eliswan