UNDP Country Director and Kingdom of Norway’s Visitation To Community Infrastructure Program in Bengkalis
August 23, 2016 - Catastrophic forest fire that blazed at the end of 2015 caused significant deterioration of environment and condition of life of the community near the burnt land and forest area. The local community were unable to access clean water for daily activities, suffered from respiratory problem, and unable to conduct any form of agricultural activities. Fortunately, the local community with their determined spirit to protect the environment, started a wide array of projects with the objective to prevent forest and land fires to occur in 2016. The projects receive various forms of assistance from REDD+ Partnership with the support from Norwegian government.
One of the ongoing project is the construction of canal blocks to ensure the availability of water for the local community and as means to remoisten the soil near peatland area. The completed canal blocking in Kampung Jawa already showed its positive impact in ensuring availability of water that can be utilized for daily activities. Christophe Bahuet, UNDP Indonesia Country Director, and Nita Murjani, Norwegian Embassy Representative visited the canal blockings site as well as directly supervising the process of construction of one of the uncompleted canal block.
Moreover, both guests engaged in a productive discussion with local communities. The focus of the discussion is the role of Masyarakat Peduli Api that operates as a community fire brigade with the aim to effectively detect early hotspots surrounding their area and take quick action to extinguish the fire. All REDD+ Partnership representatives express their gratitude for the community’s intention to actively prevent forest and land fire from occurring again.
At the end of the visit to Kampung Jawa, Christophe Bauet and Nita Murjani, planted their trees in the burnt land as a symbol and commitment towards environmental restoration and preservation. The REDD+ Partnership infrastructure visitation was also conducted the next day with the visit to Rembu Panjang Village where REDD+ representatives observed the utilization of artesian well in land fires extinguishing process.
By: Terry Muthahhari