Indonesia — The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) in cooperation with Coordinating Ministry for Peoples Welfare and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) will set up artificial rain project to cope with forest and land fire in anticipation of the worsening smoke haze.
As many as 80 percent of forest and land fire that occur today actually take place outside forest areas. Although the number of hotspots is lower than that of last year, people have been severely affected.
In tackling forest and land fires, two strategies involving land and air prevention will be taken. The land strategy comprises spraying, making fire barrier trenches, setting up water surface to wet the peat, socialization and fire control. Meanwhile, in the air artificial rain will be launched.
“The artificial rain project will be held in three places. In South Sumatra it will begin on September 10, Riau and Central Kalimantan September 12 and September 15, 2011, respectively,” said BNPB Head of Data and Information, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, in a press release received by VIVAnews.
Initially, the plan includes the deployment of three CASA 212-200 rainmaking airplanes through which one aircraft is to be used for one province. However, considering vast area of operation, the strategy was later altered.
Two aircrafts will be stationed in South Sumatra while another will be in Riau. The CASA 212-200 aircraft was specially designed by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (formerly IPTN) and has been tested for decades in artificial rain operations, either to overcome land and forest fires or floods and droughts. The implementation of artificial rain projects will be conducted simultaneously starting September 12.
For other affected regions, including Jambi, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and East Kalimantan, the operations will follow.
It is planned that this operation will be conducted for 30 days. The funds required to run this operation is worth Rp10.3 billion.