TEMPO.CO, Kupang - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on Saturday that the government would build seven dams in the eastern province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) to assure water is supplied in the region.
The President said, when visiting Menusak village, that the government would focus on water infrastructure development in NTT.
"NTT has a big problem, which is water," he noted, adding that unless water is available, problems in the region will never be settled.
In view of that, he added that the government would build seven dams in the region and it is hoped they will be finished in two to three years.
"(We will) also build 100 water reservoirs, as in the Timur Tengah Selatan, where a total of 1000 water reservoirs are being built, and when I checked yesterday 230 of them had been finished. The key is first assuring water supplies, and only after that can we talk about what we are going to plant," Presiden Jokowi said.
Also, Presiden said, "We can plant corn. Paddy fields are also possible in several areas. We can also develop sorghum, sugarcane or animal husbandry. But unless the foundation is available, we may only be able to talk about them."
"In view of that, I participated in the groundbreaking for the development of Raknamo dam in December and, therefore, I came here to assure it is running well. I only told the governor yesterday that I would come here. I will check its development. The six other dams will follow," he said.
President Jokowi arrived at El Tari Airport in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara province, on Friday evening for a two-day visit.
Flanked by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo and his entourage, he arrived aboard the presidential plane at 21:00 hours. He was welcomed by Governor Frans Lebu Raya and his wife, Lusia Andinda Lebu Raya.
Among those accompanying Jokowi, as he is also known, are Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Ferry Musyidan Baldan, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini M. Soemarno, Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman, and Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono.
The head of state is scheduled to also inspect the development of Raknamo Dam in the district of Kupang.