Firstly, we have made all-out efforts
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) echoed the government’s full-blown efforts to fight land and forest fires in the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

"Firstly, we have made all-out efforts. As part of land-based operations, we have sprayed water on (land and forest areas conflagrated by fires). We ordered additional (fire brigade personnel) on Saturday. A total of 5,600 of them arrived (on the scene) yesterday," the president remarked at the Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau Province, on Tuesday.

The president is on a visit to Pekanbaru to deliberate on ways to handle land and forest fires.

"Secondly, we have prayed to God. Last night, we performed the istisqa prayers (for rains)," he remarked.

Jokowi stated that the government had also conducted cloud seeding operations to induce rains.

"Last Friday (Sept 13), we had ordered to conduct cloud seeding operations. Alhamdulillah (thank God), Indragiri Hilir received rain at that time," he noted.

If all goes well, Riau will receive artificial rains on Tuesday, he added.

"Right now, we are scattering salt again. As we have sufficient cloud cover today, we pray Insyaallah (God willing), rains will fall today," he stated.

The head of state noted that the other effort targets addressing land and forest fires by conducting water bombing operations by deploying 52 planes.

"This means that we have made all-out efforts. However, the truest approach is prevention. When one wildfire arises, we must immediately put it out. However, currently, we are faced with the glaring issue of the vast forest and peatland area that has caught fire. It is not easy to extinguish fires that have been spreading," he added.

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Translator: Desca Lidya Natalia/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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