Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Ministry prepares clean water supply for coming drought

Source: The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA (Antara): The government is preparing three steps to ensure supply of clean water ahead of this year drought, a senior official said on Monday.

"We will provide water tanks, increase water production and channel money meant for fuel subsidies to clean water provision," Ministry of Settlement and Regional Infrastructure's director general of urban and rural planning Patana Rante Tobing said.

"These are short-term steps to overcome the drought problems. We, however, we also have to prepare middle-term and long-term efforts," he said.

Rante said the ministry would install 163 water tanks with most of them, 140 units, to be deployed in Java.

"The ministry will also build water treatment plants with a capacity of 45 liters a second. We must also find other sources of untreated water and send mobile treatment plants there.

"As for the medium term, the ministry is preparing water-searching and simple water treatment technologies," he said.

According to data from the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG), drought is expected in 18 provinces with seven provinces already suffering from its effects. In Java there are 24,000 villages regularly affected by drought.