We know that water is the key (to encourage economic activities).
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Tuesday inaugurated Semantok dam in Nganjuk district, East Java province, which has the capacity to irrigate 1,900 hectares of rice fields.

"The capacity of this dam is enormous: 32.6 million cubic meters with a pond area of 365 hectares, which will irrigate 1,900 hectares of rice fields, more or less," he noted.

The construction of Semantok dam, which was launched by the Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry’s Brantas River Basin Center (BBWS) in December 2017, cost Rp2.5 trillion (US$159.2 million), he informed.

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The President said he hoped that the establishment of the dam would boost the productivity of farmers in Nganjuk district and surrounding areas.

“If you (the farmers) usually harvest once (in a year), you can harvest twice. If you usually harvest twice (in a year), you can harvest three times," he added.

This way, the building of Semantok dam, which will source water from Semantok river, is expected to improve the welfare of the local community, he said.

According to Widodo, the government has started establishing dams and reservoirs massively since 2015 and is targeting to complete around 50 to 60 dams by the end of 2024.

Semantok dam is the 30th dam to be inaugurated by his administration.

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The President said that his administration will massively build dams since water is a very important resource, not only for the agriculture sector, but also for generating electricity and supporting tourism activities.

"We know that water is the key (to encourage economic activities)," he added.

According to the PUPR Ministry’s site, Semantok dam can supply 312 liters of water per second and reduce flooding potential by 30 percent in Nganjuk district and surrounding areas.

The initial impounding of the dam was started on July 13, 2022, and the process was targeted to be completed in March 2023.

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Translator: Indra Pribadi, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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