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Indonesia completes Tanju Dam construction

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Indonesian president Joko Widodo (walking in front) during site inspection of Tanju Dam.

Indonesia has recently inaugurated one of its largest dams – Tanju Dam – located in the Dompu district, in the province of West Nusa Tenggara on the Sumbawa Island. The project aims to increase the country’s water supply and open up a new irrigation system, in order to achieve water and food security.

“The water is crucial for the development of West Nusa Tenggara. If there is no water, what will we plant? As an illustration, currently we have only 231 dams while the United States has 6,100, China has 110,000 and Japan has around 3,000. As an agriculture country, we need many more dams - so I am happy that Tanju Dam is completed on time. It will multiply our agriculture productivity, particularly in the Dompu area,” said Indonesian president Joko Widodo at the inauguration ceremony of Tanju Dam that took place on 30 July 2018.

The construction of Tanju Dam is part of the ‘Nawa Cita’ programme, a priority agenda set by the Indonesian government. Directed by president Widodo and his vice president Jusuf Kalla, the programme focuses on infrastructure development across the country to support growth in every city in Indonesia. Some efforts have reportedly been made through the completion plan of nine dams by 2018 to increase water supply to approximately 288 mil cu m. Two of these dams are Tanju and Mila, the latter of which is scheduled to open later this year. Both dams are located in West Nusa Tenggara.

According to Indonesia’s Directorate General for Water Resources, a division of the Ministry of Public Works, the Nawa Cita programme plans to construct 49 new dams and continue 16 ongoing dams by the end of 2019. Tanju and Mila are among the 49 new dams, which were started in 2015.

Tanju Dam will offer a capacity of 18.4 mil cu m for irrigation of 2,350 ha, while Mila Dam will support new irrigation of up to 1,689 ha through its 6.5 mil cu m of water capacity. Thus, with a capacity of 24.9 mil cu m, the twin-lake dam (Tanju and Mila) will potentially open up a new irrigation area, providing water supply to up to 4,000 ha of Dompu area, and also increase plant intensity by up to three times.

Both dams can serve multiple functions as well, including land conservation area for fishing, ground sources for drinking water, and micro hydro power plants of up to 400 kW. This twin-lake dam is also expected to become a new tourist destination in the Dompu area.

Indonesia aims to become a World Food Granary by 2045 and for this reason, president Widodo prioritises on building dams and increasing water supplies, particularly in West Nusa Tenggara. As the National Food Granary in Indonesia, West Nusa Tenggara has also been selected as one of the provinces with the largest number of dams and water supplies in the country.

More photos of the Tanju Dam can be seen here.