PANGANDARAN. The Indonesia National Disaster Mitigation Agency has said that at least 102 districts in Indonesia are experiencing drought due to the lack of natural water supplies and the ongoing dry season.
The Head of Public Relation of the agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said there is currently a reduction of some 20 billion cubic meters of water in some areas.
“To date, droughts have occurred in 721 sub-districts in 102 districts or cities of 16 provinces in Indonesia,” Sutopo said here on Saturday.
Several provinces that are suffering from droughts include Banten, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Bengkulu, Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara.
Sutopo added that West Nusa Tenggara, South Sumatra, South Sulawesi, Lampung, Riau, South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, as well as Bali, have also experienced drought.
The government noted that provinces that are suffering from droughts have been located in Central Java, West Java, East Java, Lampung, South Sumatra and Bali.
The droughts also affect 111,000 hectares of agricultural fields, which are now parched lands. The agency predicted the condition will expand to other areas.
The drought in Indonesia has been occurring for more than ten years.
“According to the National Development Planning Board’s research in 2003, there were 92 districts in Java Island which suffered from a lack of water from one to eight months of the year,” Sutopo said.
Further, at least 38 areas out of 92 districts have water shortages more than eight months each year.
Additionally, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the construction of water reservoirs in several areas in Indonesia have become part of an important effort to handle drought. Thus, Kalla supports the accelerated construction of water reservoirs.