Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia needs 300 more dams to anticipate natural disasters, such as water crises due to climate change, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR).

"The (additional) number of dams is based on the calculation of the safe limit to deal with the ongoing domestic water crisis," a spokesperson for the ministry, Endra S. Atmawidjaja, stated here on Monday.

At the Forum Merdeka 9 online discussion, titled "Global Collaboration to Anticipate Water Crisis as Impact of Climate Change," he highlighted that in the last decade, the ministry had built at least 60 dams to achieve complete water security.

However, based on the latest study conducted by the ministry, this figure is far from sufficient, so it is necessary to build 300 more dams.

According to Atmawidjaja, climate change and the phenomenon of El-Nino in the Pacific Ocean cause most regions in Indonesia to experience longer and more extreme drought.

He said that the prolonged drought has an impact on food security for which requisite precautionary measures need to be taken.

He underscored the need for farmers to not lose the momentum to plant rice, corn, and other food crops.

Hence, he said, the ministry has included the additional dam construction plan in the strategic plan to mitigate climate crisis conditions.

"The more dams it has, the better a country's ability to store water and use it to water agricultural lands during the dry season," he remarked.

Atmawidjaja affirmed that his side will speed up the construction of several vital dams, considering Indonesia's extremely long dry season that causes water crises in some regions.

Meanwhile, the ministry's Directorate General of Water Resources has allocated a budget of Rp21.5 trillion (US$1.3 billion) to complete the construction of 15 vital dams by 2024.

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Translator: Prasetyo, Kenzu
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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