Tunisia is interested in learning Indonesia’s weather modification technology to overcome drought

Jakarta—Head of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Dwikorita Karnawati stated that Weather Modification Technology (TMC) has had a positive impact on dealing with climate change. This was conveyed during a bilateral meeting with Tunisia’s Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Abdelmonaam Belaati.

“Along with the high intensity of extreme weather, our country (Indonesia) suffers a lot from disasters, and that is why TMC is one of the mitigation approaches that can be done when we are threatened,” Dwikorita said in an official statement at the TMC Command Post at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Wednesday, May 22.

Dwikorita explained that TMC can be done to mitigate disasters such as extreme weather caused by climate change. For example, Indonesia experienced extreme weather due to the El Niño phenomenon in 2015, 2016, and 2019, where many areas experienced drought and forest fires.

“Due to these events, many losses were incurred and made people suffer. Based on the results of BMKG analysis during El Niño in 2023, we have learned a lot and utilize TMC as a form of mitigation against the resulting disaster impacts,” she explained.

Dwikorita added that during El Niño, groundwater often decreases, creating very dry land that is sensitive to forest fires. “TMC can be used to anticipate these fires by seeding clouds in areas prone to forest and land fires. Data owned by BMKG shows about 80-90% reduction in forest fires,” she said.

Meanwhile, the BMKG’s Acting Deputy for Weather Modification, Tri Handoko Seto, said that the BMKG had conducted five-day cloud seeding to handle the hydrometeorological disasters of flash floods and lava floods in West Sumatra. A total of 15 tons of salt was seeded in the area to reduce the high intensity of rain that could potentially carry volcanic material from the eruption of Mount Marapi.

“TMC is very important to save lives and ensure prosperity and human welfare because it helps agricultural production in dry areas. Therefore, this effort must continue collectively,” Seto emphasised.

Tunisia’s Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Abdelmonaam Belaati, appreciated BMKG’s ability to conduct TMC. According to him, TMC is a very good effort to maintain the sustainability of human life.

“Tunisia has recorded droughts for 5-7 years, which have caused water supply to decrease. With a visit to Indonesia, Tunisia wants to find solutions on how TMC can be done effectively,” he said.

Currently, Tunisia is desalinating seawater and thinking about how to use used and treated water to overcome drought.

“Another solution is to modify the weather to bring rain. That is very important, and that is why we are here today. We hope to continue working together,” said Belaati. (Hartatik)

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