Rp 50b fund given to help flood victims in C. Java
Suherdjoko and Yemris F , The Jakarta Post , Semarang/Kupang | Thu, 02/12/2009 9:18 AM | The Archipelago
The Central Java provincial administration has set aside Rp 50 billion (US$4.50 million) this year to help victims of natural disasters.
In Semarang on Wednesday, Central Java Governor Bibit Waluyo said Rp 20 billion of the total fund was taken from the regional budget.
It was taken from a Rp 30 billion fund earmarked for a similar purpose last year.
Most of that fund had not been disbursed yet, Bibit said.
Floods have hit several cities in Central Java since the beginning of the year — including Surakarta, Sragen, Karanganyar, Cilacap, Purworejo, Pati, Kudus, Demak, Jepara, Semarang, Kendal and Pekalongan.
Five people have been killed in the province during the floods.
Six others died in a landslide in Karanganyar
“With any flood, we have to prioritize evacuating victims, followed by establishing command posts to coordinate assistance in the form of food and medicine,” Bibit said.
He said he had asked the Public Works Ministry and the welfare minister’s office for more assistance to help handle the floods.
“There must be an emergency program to handle floods in Pati and Kudus,” he said.
“We especially need to construct a channel at Juwana River, followed by a plan to widen and dredge the river.”
“The ministries have responded positively to our request.”
He said the Central Java provincial administration had allocated rice seedlings and fertilizers to farmers affected by the floods in Jepara, Kudus, Demak and Kendal.
He said he had received information that 35,300 out 679,000 hectares of paddy fields in Central Java had been inundated, with 1,200 hectares experiencing failed harvests.
“The flooding will not affect the rice surplus from production in Central Java,” he added.
Meanwhile, floods sparked by torrential rains falling in a number of cities in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) recently have forced over 1,000 residents to evacuate to safer areas.
The residents of Kupang, Central North Timor and Manggarai had no alternative but to flee because they had no access to clean water after wells and springs near their houses filled with mud and other debris.
Nearly half of the evacuees were residents of Kupang, where 420 houses were damaged.
The evacuees were temporarily housed at the office of the Alfa Omega Foundation belonging to Masehi Injili Church in Timor.
On Wednesday, Kupang Regent Ruben Funnay said emergency aids had been distributed to help the flood victims.
“A medical team and a group of the local social service officers have also been deployed to give assistance and compile data on the scale of destruction,” Ruben said.
In Manggarai regency, 35 houses were damaged by a storm.
At least 100 people are still living at evacuation sites. Besides destroying the houses, the storm also destroyed school buildings.
Head of the Manggarai youth and sports education office said at least 10 school buildings were damaged, including Catholic School Narang II and Bangka Keli state school.
“All of the 10 damaged school buildings were located in Satar Mese Barat district, Tadeus said.