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Muhammadiyah Urges Government to Cope with Smog Spreads

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Muhammadiyah is concerned about smog which cannot be managed yet and causes people, particularly children, in Sumatera and Kalimantan to suffer. Muhammadiyah contended that the smog due to forest and peatland fires reflects that bureaucracy and management of regional and center government are corrupt. Muhammadiyah urged government to put any efforts to cope with smog spread occurring in Kalimantan and Sumatera. The statement was uttered by Prof. Dr. Muhjidin Mawardi, Chairman of Environmental Council of Muhammadiyah in a press conference of “Muhammadiyah’s Statement toward Smog Disaster. It was conducted on Tuesday (27/10) at meeting hall of Muhammadiyah office, Floor 2.

Muhammadiyah deplore governmental policy of petleand fires which obviously contrasted to peatland ecosystem management rules and article 26 PP No.71/2014. “To extinguish peatland fires, government proposed to build canals and water pool aiming dampen the peatlead. Nevertheless, the way will worsen the fires,” Prof. Muhjidin declared.

He inserted that canals and water pools are not effective since they will not be filled by water and the level water will be lower than land level except areas near rivers influenced by tides. Besides, empty canals will become drainage canals and will arrange water on peatland so that fires will be wider. “Dry peatleand will be irreversible despite of watered or raining. The dry peatleand will get easily burnt subsidence. It is worried that the fires will spread and will be hard to quench,” he added.

Muhammadiyah expected that government mobilize all technology and resources to truly, manageably, and sustainably overcome the smog disaster. Government may select and implement local wisdom based peatland management which is more environmentally friendly. “Government may take firm decision to disfranchise palm oil companies causing the peatland fires. Government may establish law to everyone who breaks rules and law of environment, natural resourcesm and peatland ecosystem management,” Prof. Muhjidin asserted.

Muhammadiyah through Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center (MDMC) engaged in cope with the smog disaster, and cooperated with Lazizmu to coin movement like providing medical aids, children health house, and educational aids in Riau and Sumatera. Muhammadiyah’s statement will be continued in a discussion on Tuesday (3/11) at Graduate School of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY).

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