Blitar, East Java (ANTARA) - The Blitar district administration has provided clean water to the residents of 11 villages reeling from the impact of the prolonged drought during the current dry season.

"We forecast that 19 villages (will be affected by the dry spell). Currently, 11 villages (are parched)," Heru Irawan, head of the Blitar disaster mitigation office (BPBD), remarked here on Monday.

Most villages, experiencing a dearth of water, are located in the southern hilly area.

The Blitar BPBD has dispatched water tankers for four to six trips to the villages on a day-to-day basis.

Blitar officials and residents recently offered special prayers to bring rain.

"We hope the drought would end soon. Today, after the prayers, clean water, donated by the NGOs, has arrived," Blitar District Head Rijanto stated.

Rijanto echoed the government’s commitment to assisting local residents impacted by the clean water crisis.

The Surabaya Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Office (BMKG) has forecast rainfall in East Java Province since early October 2019.

Head of the Surabaya BMKG Bambang Hargiyono stated that rainfall of low intensity is expected to be received in Lumajang, Malang, Banyuwangi, Tuban, and Lamongan.

In November, East Java is expected to receive rains, with the rainy season peaking between December 2019 and February 2020.

An El Nino-induced severe dry spell has cast a pall over 100 districts and cities in Indonesia’s provinces of Aceh, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.

Most parts of Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara have not received rains for nearly 60 days. The extreme dry season has impacted 102,746 hectares (ha) of agricultural area and ruined 9,358 ha.

The National Meteorological, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast extreme dry season until September, with the condition likely to peak in August.

The government has forecast that the current drought, which is drier than that of last year, would spread to 28 out of the country’s 34 provinces and impact 48,491,666 people and leave 11,774,437 ha of areas parched.

A total of 55 district and municipal administrations in the seven provinces have declared a state of emergency in their regions over drought.

The authorities have built artesian wells in several areas and supplied millions of liters of clean water in the drought-affected regions.

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Translator: Asmaul Chusna, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019