President Joko Widodo promised that The ongoing Sumatra and Kalimantan haze crisis will be over in a fortnight, but extinguishing all the fires will cost Indonesia at least a total of Rp 1.3 trillion ($97 million). Joko set a bold target on Saturday to have all fires under control within two weeks. After previously refusing offers Joko Widodo said he now accepts help from Singapore, and also from Russia, Malaysia and Japan. The forest fires are the result of annual slash-and-burn practices by companies clearing land for palm oil and pulp wood plantations.
After months of dry spell, last week Jakarta finally saw its first rain, giving indications that the city is about to move in to rainy season. Speaker of the Agency for Metereology, Climatology, and Geophysics predicts more frequent rain will be seen by mid to end of October, and will reach its peak by January, with highest rainfall predicted in South Jakarta and Bogor. To combat the flooding, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and his administration have been working on several flood reduction measures including dredging rivers and creating new water basins.
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