Peatland Restoration Agency Will Built Thousands of Canal Blocks in 2017

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canal blocks
Photo: Kosasih

Jakarta (Greeners) – Peatland Restoration Agency, or locally known as BRG, is aiming to built 70 major canal blocks and 3,000 smaller canal blocks in Central Kalimantan, next year, said its head, Nazir Foead, in Pulang Pisau, on Tuesday (20/12).

In 2016, the agency had built 33 small canal blocks in the district. In addition, the agency will be encouraging local people to restore peats.

“If the people is not encouraged and not well informed, then they would most likely destroy the blocks,” he said adding that major blocks will be developed by Ministry of Public Works and People’s Housing and 3,000 blocks will be built by the agency.

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Deputy of Construction, Operation, and Maintenance, Alue Dohong, said that one canal block cost one million rupiah and it would also serve as water transportation.

“However, the canals must be built in accordance to peat’s condition. If it’s deep peat, we won’t be able to built compact canal blocks as the logs would immediately obsolete,” said Dohong.

Furthermore, he said that solid and permanent canal blocks such as in Canada and North America did not automatically adopted in Indonesia as they have different characters of peats.

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In Pulang Pisau, local people are taught to built canal blocks using simple tools from softwood and soils to keep water level of 40 meter as stipulated by Government Regulation No. 57 Year 2016 on Peat Ecosystem Protection and Management.

For its first year, the agency will still be focusing on the planning and mapping which will be followed by physical development, including canal blocks, artesian wells, to prevent dried and burned peats.

“Ideally, all physical development should have started after the planning or we will lose time and resources,” said Foead.

Reports by Danny Kosasih