Fire Free Village Program Makes Headway in Rural Villages
The Fire Free Village Programme (FFVP) was initiated by Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), which is the operations arm of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL). RAPP and APRIL form part the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group of companies founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto. Sukanto Tanoto is also the founder of Sateri.
The program was first initiated in July 2015, and was tested in nine villages located in fire prone areas near the Kampar River. The programme was successful, contributing to a large reduction of fires in the area, and has been expanded to include eleven new villages in 2016.
The programme is made up of a combination of factors which contribute to its success; such as early fire detection, active suppression, spreading community awareness, educating the locals on the detrimental effects of land burning practises and rewarding the village communities that remain fire free with infrastructure grants which will go towards the manufacture of bridges or community buildings or creating boreholes for fresh water, as well as educational scholarships.
It is however not easy to change the mind-sets and ways of people who have been living a certain way for generations; therefore perseverance and patience is needed while educating local villagers to stop land burning practises as a way of clearing land.
In the village of Teluk Meranti in Pelelewan, Zuriadi is the coordinating crew leader of the FFVP. Since his appointment in 2015 he has spent time with different local residents on a daily basis to explain to teach and explain to them why they should clear land using manual tools such as hoes, machetes and various farming tools instead of clearing it by burning the land.
Zuriadi and the other members of the FFVP patrol the areas surrounding their village every two days to make sure there are no fires burning. If they do happen to come across any fires they put them out immediately to avoid mayor damage.
Due to Zuriadi’s dedication and determination, Teluk Meranti received a grant of Rp 100 million (US$ 75) from the FFVP in 2016 to be used towards its infrastructure.
To read more about Sukanto Tanoto and the FFVP go to:
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