Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday commented on the massive floods that devastated the Sintang Regency in West Kalimantan. He blamed the region's broken water catchment, which the president said has been a problem for decades.
"This is what must be stopped because the main problem is that. Kapuas [River] overflowed because the watersheds were ruined. We will fix all that," said the President to journalists after inaugurating the Serang-Rangkasbitung toll road in Banten, on November 16.
He promised that 2022 will see the government construct nurseries, or areas that are used to process seeds/seedlings that are ready to be planted in the field and re-green the area. "This will restore areas in the upstream, in the water catchments."
However, Jokowi insisted that the floods were not caused by deforestation but rather because of unusual extreme rainfall.
Today marks the third week Sintang Regency is drowned by floodwater with little to no signs of receding. The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) forecasts more rainfall for the next few days.
According to the Sintang Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), 25,884 locals were displaced due to the massive flood. It also affected the lives of 124,497 people.