Jokowi to observe haze disaster control in Central Kalimantan

Jokowi to observe haze disaster control in Central Kalimantan

After visiting several cities in South Kalimantan from Wednesday to Thursday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo decided to continue his work visit to observe the handling of land and forest fires in Central Kalimantan, which have triggered a haze disaster in the province.

Presidential communication team member Ari Dwipayana said on Thursday that after performing Idul Fitri prayers at Al Karomah Grand Mosque in Banjar regency, South Kalimantan, President Jokowi, First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo and their entourage were scheduled to continue their work visit to North Sumatra to observe the relocation of refugees of Mount Sinabung eruptions.

However, he said the President decided that he and his entourage would observe the handling of land fires in Kapuas and Pulang Pisau in Central Kalimantan, which were located 130 kilometers away from Banjar regency.

Ari said President Jokowi thought that it was crucial for him to directly watch land and forest fires in Central Kalimantan due to the emergency level disaster in the province.

"By directly observing the handling of land and forest fires, the President wants to ensure that all parties have moved together [to tackle the problem]," he said as quoted by in Jakarta on Thursday.

Ari said the postponement of Jokowi's work visit to Karo, North Sumatra, did not mean that the President did not want to observe the handling of the victims of Mt Sinabung eruptions.

He said President Jokowi had continued to monitor developments of the volcano's eruptions. The President had even ordered the commander of the Regional Military Command I/Bukit Barisan in Medan, North Sumatra, and the head of the Mt Sinabung eruption victim relocation acceleration task force to immediately prepare the relocation process.

"The President still aims to visit the Sinabung refugees in his next work visit as the handling of people and areas affected by the volcano's eruption is targeted to be fully completed by the end of 2015," said Ari.

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