BNPB: Ogan Hilir Regency being Model in Preventing from Fires

Jakarta, MINA – Mitigation Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Medi Herlianto review making of sodetan in Ogan Hilir Regency, South Sumatra, which was used as a way to prevent forest and land fires (Karhutla) on Tuesday.

According to Medi, Ogan Hilir Regency was made a pilot project to prevent forest and land fires by making this sodetan.

“This sodetan is expected to becomes an investment in combating forest and land fires, the forest and land fire disaster must be handled as early as possible since pre-disaster with the aim of saving future generations from disaster,” Medi said in his statement on Thursday.

He said the forestry prevention program was in the form of peatland wetting by making sodetan in the Meriak River and Keramasan River, Kabal Island Village, Ogan Ilir Regency, planned for 12.4 km.

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Until 31 December 2019, this work had already reached 8.85 km with funding from the BNPB Ready-Made Fund for Fiscal Year 2019 and will be continued in early 2020, so it is hoped that when entering the dry season, this river can play a role in preventing forest fires and land.

Previously, the source of water from the Keramasan River was swamps and inundations around the river, but now the swamp area and inundation have degraded due to land conversion to plantations. Changes in land cover cause a decrease in the quantity of water in the Keramasan river.

With the creation of a water channel that connects the Meriak river to the Keramasan river, it is expected to be able to normalize the quantity and quality of water in the Keramasan river, besides having a huge impact in anticipating forest and land fires in the surrounding area.

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It is important to know, the area of ​​peatlands that burned was 480,178 hectares throughout Indonesia according to KLHK data as of December 2019. Forest and land fires in peatlands would be very difficult to extinguish.

The character of peat that is dry and has various depths even up to 30 meters will certainly be difficult to extinguish by land personnel, water bombardment even with artificial rain. Therefore the need to restore the nature of peatlands is wet, watery and swampy.

The Chairman of the Socio Economic Study Expert Team from Sriwijaya University, Sutopo revealed, that the channel from the river basin can be developed in terms of tourism, which will later help improve the socio-economic community along the sodetan sunga channel.

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“In the future, if the river is connected to the two rivers, it will support the functional of the South Sumatra Botanical Garden which is located in Ogan Ilir Regency so that it can improve the livelihoods of the surrounding community,” he said. (T/R6

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)