Jokowi calls for sustainable water use and ensure it becomes an energy source in Indonesia

MANADO, Indonesia (Bernama-ANTARA): Indonesia needs to pay special attention and identify ways to manage its water, as an energy resource, in a prudent manner, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has stated in Bolaang Mongondow District, North Sulawesi.

"In the future, matters related to water energy will burden us if we do not take preparatory measures from now," he said during the inauguration of Lolak Dam in Bolaang Mongondow, reported ANTARA news agency.

In his speech, Jokowi pointed out that Indonesia is home to around 4,400 rivers, with only 292 of them being equipped with dams to control and optimise water use.

In contrast, he said, China has managed to build as many as 98 thousand dams, while South Korea houses 20 thousand dams.

The head of state then emphasised that the existence of a dam can bring profit to people living in its surroundings.

He cited as an example the newly inaugurated Lolak Dam which has a capacity of accommodating 16 million cubic metres of water that can be optimised to irrigate about 2,200 hectares of rice fields in Bolaang Mongondow.

The president underlined that Bolaang Mongondow District has been serving as the major rice-producing region of North Sulawesi Province.

He remarked that the water infrastructure can provide the residents of Bolaang Mongondow with supplies of raw water and reduce the risks of flooding by 29 per cent.

"The existence of this dam can lower the risk of flooding by 29 per cent. Moreover, the dam can support the operation of a mini hydropower plant to generate electricity," he emphasised.

Jokowi expressed his hope that the newly inaugurated dam would proffer huge benefits for all.

"We truly hope that Lolak Dam will be beneficial to all of us," he said.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, and North Sulawesi Governor Olly Dondokambey, among others, accompanied President Jokowi during the inauguration of the dam. - Bernama-ANTARA

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