District Head of Kediri Haryanti Soetrisno stated on Friday in Sugihwaras Village, Ngancar Sub-district, that calliandra was chosen as the agent for reforesting the affected areas as it has strong roots and is easy to grow.
"Calliandra fertilizes the soil. We spread its seeds, so that the area (affected by eruption) will not dry out," Haryanti explained.
The speed dispersal initiative was carried out to coincide with the commemoration of the National Tree Planting Day and had the participation of the local consultative forum (Muspida), environmental organizations, students, and the people affected by Keluds eruption.
The administration had made available a ton of red calliandra seeds for the program.
However, the geographical condition of some affected areas hampered the seed dispersal initiative, as the conditions did not favor the direct planting of seeds in some areas. Therefore, catapults were used during seed dispersal.
"We will also borrow a helicopter to disperse the seeds. We will see in January," the district head remarked.
The seeds will be dispersed in some areas affected by Mount Keluds eruption such as Ngancar, Plosoklaten, Puncu, and Kepung Sub-district.
Meanwhile, Head of Forestry and Plantation Office of Kediri Administration Sugeng Waluyo said that Mount Keluds eruption in February 2014 had destroyed some forests in the region, which the seed dispersal program is expected to revive.
Kepung and Puncu were the two sub-districts heavily affected by the eruption.
The administration will not only disperse the seeds but will also plant trees in the region.
The revival of the forest was also expected to create new fresh sources of water for the local people.
Earlier, the eruption affected two springs in Puncu Sub-district, which cut access to fresh water for the local people.
Mount Kelud erupted on Friday (Feb. 14, 2014), forcing mass evacuation and disrupting flights and leading to the shutdown of international airports in Surabaya, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Malang, Semarang.
The volcano has claimed more than 15 thousand lives since 1500, including around 10 thousand deaths in a massive eruption that occurred in 1568.
It is one of the 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
(Reporting by Destyan Hendri Sujarwoko/Uu.INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)