ACTNews, JAKARTA – In dealing with the deadly drought that affects Indonesia, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has distributed millions of liters of clean water and built waqf wells in 263 locations to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries throughout Indonesia. These programs are still ongoing.
Ibnu Khajar, President of ACT, stated that the actions that have been initiated by ACT consist of three main programs, namely clean water distribution, medical services, and food aid distribution. “For the last four months, ACT has initiated approximately 1,400 waqf wells across Indonesia. For the first phase of the alleviation of drought, ACT will supply 2.1 million liters of clean water per day using the mobile water tanks, aiming to provide 60 million liters of water a month,” he stated during a press conference, Tuesday (8/20) in Jakarta.
ACT invites the community to work together to overcome the drought through actions through bit.ly/DermawanAtasiKekeringan. According to Ibnu Khajar, our true value lies in what we have done for the sake of others. “Let us alleviate this Deadly Drought by becoming Muhsineen (generous people). Insha Allah, this will also become a proof that we care not only about the people of Indonesia but also the people of the world,” added Ibnu Khajar.
ACT also collaborates with the Indonesian Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) by providing updated information to the ACT team about the results of the latest observation and early warning about the areas that are prone to drought. According to the data from BMKG, around 64.94 percent of Indonesian Regions will experience low rainfall (below 100 millimeter/month) in August 2019. BMKG also stated that the dry season in 2019 will cause a long drought due to several causes, namely the El Nino, the strong Australian Monsoon, and anomalous increase in air temperature due to climate change.
Adi RIpaldi, Head of BMKG’s Climate Information and Analysis Desk said that most of Indonesia's territory entered the dry season from May to June 2019. BMKG had predicted that the dry season this year (May - October) would be drier than in 2018. Therefore, the communities and the government need to take precautions.
“According to BMKG’s observation until early August 2019, several regions have been suffering from extreme level meteorological drought where the rain has not been falling for 60, even 90 days in these regions,” he stated
In line with that, Wahyu Novyan, ACT's Director of Social Distribution Program (SDP) stated that currently almost 3.5 million people are victims of drought impacts. “In total, 55 regencies/cities, around 28% of all provinces in Indonesia have been affected, almost 2/3 of all provinces in Indonesia,” he said.
Wahyu said that the drought can lead to malnutrition in children, poverty, and even death. “If left unchecked, it can lead to a lost generation. This needs to be the main concern. In response to this condition, ACT will distribute 2.1 million of liters of clean water per day from 28 ACT Branch Offices, aiming to benefit 500,000 per day,” he stated.
Wahyu also added that drought is not a disaster that can directly cause death, but it is as latent disaster. “Drought is not a rapid onset disaster. Rather, it’s a slow onset disaster. With only 3% clean water available across the world, this disaster may cause a deadly impact. It may lead to a lost generation. With such latent danger, we invite the communities to participate and care about the disaster whose impacts are not only on this generation but also on the next generation,” he said.
ACT Global Medic Action Senior Manager dr. Rizal Alimin stated that the drought that hits almost all regions in Indonesia will have impacts on the health of the society. “In the dry season, there’s a chance of the increase of the spread of Hepatitis A, typhus, malaria, dengue fever and other diseases although it also depends on the severity of the drought in each region and the immunity of its residents,” he remarked. Furthermore, he added that long droughts can also lead to stunting in children because extreme drought will influence the eating habit, parenting habit, and the sanitation of the affected communities.
In terms of medical services, ACT will regularly provide medical services and health education in areas prone to extreme drought. ACT is also preparing several long-term programs to ease the annual drought. These programs include community empowerment programs, construction of retention basins, biopori holes, recharge wells, construction of green spaces in collaboration with the government, as well as other programs that have been prepared. These long-term programs serve as solutions for the drought-prone areas to face the dry season in the future years.