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President Keeping a Sharp Eye on Disaster Relief

President Joko Widodo Warns West Nusa Tenggara Officials that Misuse of Earthquake Aid will not be Tolerated

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has issued a stern warning to officials involved in disaster relief working in West Nusa Tenggara that all assistance to victims of recent earthquakes must be delivered without any discount or corruption.

As reported by Kompas.com, the President’s warning was made in a speech before a large crowd of earthquake refugees and government officials gathered before a mosque in West Lombok on Sunday, September 2, 2018. The President said: “I warn you, there must be no malfeasance (cuts) in the earthquake aid. Be careful when you work with me. Be careful. I will check. I don’t want to see one rupiah misused from the relief account. All the funds must go to the public to help them rebuild their homes.”

Many members of the audience were reportedly relieved to hear President Widodo’s pronouncement. Joko Widodo also used the occasion to remind the head of the Nasional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) that he will be called to be responsible for any malfeasance that appears. Continuing, the President told the public that the money given to rebuild homes must be used for that purpose and not diverted to other needs.

The President called on the people to follow guidelines provided by the government and build homes that are earthquake-proof and uses materials like bamboo.

Joko Widodo’s visit to Lombok was his third since the first major earthquake on July 29, 2018. During his latest visit, he symbolically handed over bank accounts of Rp. 50 million for people with homes that suffered severe damage, Rp. 25 million for those with homes that suffered moderate damage, and Rp. 10 million for homeowners who suffered light damage to their dwellings.

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