Jakarta – West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji expelled 20 representatives of palm oil companies from a meeting at his office because they failed to respond when asked to help dealing with floods in the area.
Sutarmidji was also angry because the palm oil companies only sent representatives who were unable to make decisions on the part of the companies. The story was revealed by Sutarmidji on his Facebook account Bang Midji.
"Yesterday I invited 20 or so palm oil companies to assist our sisters and brothers impacted upon by the floods, but they had the gall to say that their plantations are not in the flooded areas, they have to ask for permission from their superiors and so on, I was annoyed so I kicked them out", wrote Sutarmidji as seen on Wednesday November 10.
Sutarmidji said the palm oil companies had no sympathy with the people impacted upon by the floods. He believes that the palm oil plantations have contributed to the floods in West Kalimantan.
"They have no heart, and are severely lacking in sympathy for the people. Those who are suffering maybe because of their actions. If they don't care about the West Kalimantan people, then I also don't care about whether or not they stay in West Kalimantan", he said.
He said that the West Kalimantan provincial government will continue efforts to deal with the floods.
"Hopefully their indifference will bring a long lasting remorse. We'll see what happens. God willing we are still able to take care of our people", he said.
Inundated by floods
As has been reported, a number of areas in West Kalimantan have been hit by floods for more than a week such as Sintang, Kapuas Hulu and Sekadau. In Sintang, it has been reported that more than more than 140,000 people have been affected by the floods.
"The flood disaster which is still inundating Sintang regency has affected 12 sub-districts. As many as 140,468 people have been affected by the floods and two people have been reported dead", said acting National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Disaster Information and Communication Data Centre Head Abdul Muhari on Tuesday November 9.
The Sintang Regional Disaster Relief Agency (BPBD) has recorded that some 35,117 housing units have been inundated by 300 centimeters of water, five bridges badly damaged and other infrastructure impacted upon by the floods.
"The Sintang regional government has extended the flood disaster emergency response for 30 days starting from October 13 to November 16, 2021", said Muhari.
Muhari said that on Tuesday the water was still rising by around 5-7 centimeters [a day] because of continued rain in upstream areas. The Sintang BPBD has recorded that there are 32 evacuation centres but most people are choosing to seek shelter with their respective families.
Meanwhile 24 field kitchens have been established to supply basic food needs to affected people. Coordinating posts have also been established at five points covering Tugu Bambu, Pos Lantas, the Media Center, Ujung Jembatan Kapuas and the Sintang sub-district head's office. (jbr/dhn)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Gubernur Kalbar Usir 20 Pengusaha Sawit karena Tak Mau Bantu Banjir".]