UGM continued to show its existence in national and international arena. This time an achievement was obtained by Civil Engineering Lecturer in Vocational School, Dr. Ing. Ir. Agus Maryono. Graduate of University of Karlsruhe (Germany) in the field of hydro has just received an award as Inspiring People or Reksa Utama Anindha 2016 by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) in Manado this month.
Agus was chosen by BNPB as Inspirational Leaders for his contributions in the field of river management which benefits many areas in Indonesia. Since 2001, Agus Maryono has written extensively about the ideas and discourses relevant in the field of hydro especially floods and rivers. Many books have been produced by Agus related to hydro-issues in Indonesia, including "Sustainable River Management", " Flood, Drought and the Environment management", "Restoration of the River", and many more. Agus even created a special children's comic book about the river entitled "I Love my river". "Through the comic books I want to foster a love of children to the river in hope they would help preserve it," said Agus, Tuesday (25/10).
The election of Agus Maryono as Inspirational Leaders by BNPB is also inseparable from his activity in the field of river restoration in Indonesia. It is known that 29 river restoration groups in various cities and districts in Indonesia are under the coordination of Agus. "Various groups are scattered and will continue to grow in line with increasing awareness to preserve the river," he added.
On that occasion, he explained about the background of the formation of river restoration movement. It was triggered by his concern at the conditions of the river which was full of rubbish, straightened river, narrowed river and many other issues. In fact, according to Agus, the river is the lifeblood of us who ironically ignore it. "The issue is similar not only in one or two areas in Indonesia, but almost all regions in Indonesia," said Agus.
Agus started river restoration activities from small and simple acivity such as cleaning the river. Together with students and residents, Agus cleaned the river from debris that could hold up the streamflow. "Maybe it sounds silly to clean up the river that would be polluted again, but if we do not take the action and are simply waiting for the awareness of other people, then it’s better for us to start from ourselves," said Agus.
Indeed, what Agus and various society elements have done produced result. Restoration of the river in many region is rising along with the increasing public awareness to preserve the river. Local Government, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Ministry of Public Works, BNPB and related agencies also fully support the efforts of river restoration.
River restoration has five key points related to the restoration. The first point is hydrological restoration, which we jointly try to prevent the disposal of waste into the river, so the river is free of junk. The second point, namely the ecological restoration which is an effort to return the river back to the state that is suitable for the environment of flora and fauna. This was done to create a good environment for growing fish and fish breeding. The next point is the restoration of river morphology, which is to restore the river to become as natural as possible. The forth is to conduct socio-cultural and economic restoration along the river]; lastly, institutional and river regulatory restoration.