Late last week, the Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, declared a 14-day emergency status across the island.
The emergency declaration has given the National Doiasaater Agency for Bali additional funds and resources to help tackle fires at the island’s biggest landfill sites, wildfires across the eats of the island, and drought across 26-sub districts.
Speaking to the media on Monday 23rd October the Head of the National Disaster Agency for Bali, Made Rentin, has issued a statement to tourists inviting that the island remains a safe travel destination in light of the emergency measures.
Rentin said that despite the drought, forest fires, and smoldering landfill fires, Bali is a safe, welcoming, and enjoyable destination for a vacation.
He explained, “What are the excess of determining disaster alert status? Will it disrupt tourism activities? I emphasize not at all.”
“Foreign tourists who come just enjoy their holidays because of the context and meaning of the forest and land fires and drought disaster alert are to be prepared for various things [escalating disasters].”
He insisted that the declaration of a two-week emergency status, which could be extended, is a political move to free up more resources for the local government, the army, the police, and the national disaster management agency.
It also makes it easier for community stakeholders to request assistance from the national and provincial support agencies.
Rentin continued, “So far before the status was declared, the delivery of logistics might have been relatively limited, with the current status deployment of resources being more flexible.”
“It was proven during the coordination meeting with the head of the National Disaster Management Agency that they provided support for two things; namely costs of operation in the form of ready-to-use funds and logistical equipment support for drought, forest, and landfill fires.”
He confirmed that data collected by the National Disaster Management Agency shows that six of Bali’s nine regencies have been directly impacted by the drought.
These are Jembrana Regency in the far west, Buleleng Regency which spans much of the north and northwest of the island, Karangasem Regency which is in the east of the province, Klungkung Regency and Tabanan Regency.
The landfill fires have been smoldering at Suwung TPA in South Denpasar which sits less than 10km away from Kuta Beach and Sanur Beach.
The fire at Mandung TPA in Tabanan continues to shoulder too, but the fire at Temesi TPA landfill in Ginayar was brought under control much more quickly than the other two.
Wildfires have affected huge swathes of east Bali, especially in Bangli and Karangasem Regency, though one major fire broke out last week in Singaraja in Buleleng Regency.
Rentin concluded, “we have recorded that 133 villages are experiencing drought spread across several areas and this has been happening for the last 3-4 weeks.”
“We are trying to distribute clean water. However, not all districts are asking for support and reinforcement from the provincial disaster management agency.”
Many of the areas experiencing drought in Bali have not seen rain for more than one hundred days.
While Rentin’s comments are clear that from a disaster management perspective, tourists in Bali are safe from the impacts of fires and droughts, many communities and tourists have noticed a drop in air quality since the fires broke out.
Though the smoldering Suwung TPA landfill sits within Denpasar Regency, the resorts of Badung Regency have been downwind of the fire since it broke out.
Resorts like Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, and even as far as Canggu have recorded unhealthy air pollution levels and rolling haze, as well as reduced visibility over the ocean from the beachfront.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.