Many people live on the slope of Merapi mainly earn their living by raising cow. During current Merapi eruption, people were being evacuated to barracks and other safe places. Although they are safe, the concern in the life of their cows has depressed them. They worry whether their cows are stolen or safe, healthy or sick; they worry on how to feed their cows and so on. This matter is very distressing the people. Government stated to provide guarantee or insurance to purchase the cows in tolerable price, yet the government has yet to announce the number. This month, the Moslems have Idul Adha, when usually the people receive high price for cows and goat/sheep. This concern, when continues, will cause further stress among the people.
Cows Evacuation Process
When Merapi exploded and erupted for the first time this year (26 October 2010), people from Desa Sidoreja and Tegalmulya were evacuated to Keputran, since it still belonged to safe zone (more than 10 kilometres from the peak) at that time. During the time, they returned home in the morning to feed their cows by trucks, they were about 40 people, and about two hours later they went down again to the barracks. This ritual lasted for 10 days. Then, Merapi erupted and exploded again and the safe zone was extended into more than 20 kilometers. Their camp was moved to Polttekkes in Wedi area. In Wedi, they could not go to their hamlets to feed their cows and thus they were worried. In some other villages, people already tried to evacuate their cows, this add more concern to people who have not evacuated their cows. After that, through the village officers, they asked for help from community based organizations or people organization from CD Bethesda to evacuate their cows and after we shared this matter we tried to evacuate the cows, which mostly cows.
At the first evacuation effort, we prepared seven trucks for evacuating the cows, yet disallowed by the military and TAGANA, whom are supporting this emergency response, because at time the pebbles, sands and volcanic dust were still pouring. The second effort, people organization was coordinated with TAGANA, and we were finally allowed to evacuate the cows one time only. In this second evacuation effort, we have 10 trucks and the trucks will evacuate any cows. The trouble was one truck got lost in Tawang area, and caused 7 cows were unable to be evacuated; but after we communicated with the people we finally able to evacuate them. The cows were brought to Basin, where the people have already prepared temporary shelters for cows made of bamboo and plastics roof. Nevertheless, the temporary shelters broke down by cows’ movements. The people received food aid for the cows (grass) from the government (sub district), and they got it from Bayat area.
Difficulties and Challenges
During evacuation process, we faced some difficulties and challenges as follows:
1. Government does not prepare place for evacuating the cattle (cow)
2. Government does not prepare any vehicle to transport the cows during evacuation process and thus we lacked of transportation means (truck).
3. We lacked of operational cost for the trucks for daily transportation in feeding the cows: getting grass, transporting the grass from other area to cows temporary shelter.
4. We have no facilities in regards to cow’s food such as concentrate and cow’s health care.
5. People (owner of the cows) must get permission from local people whenever they need to cut the grass and feeding their cows.
6. Almost all people who have cows are concerned (sad) because worrying their cows.
1. Government provides support for feeding the cows adequately.
2. Government provides support in recovering the health of the cows (provision of health care for cattle)
3. Government provides support in transporting the cows return to their hamlets when the disaster end.
4. Government provides support financially and other forms of aid for recovery post disaster or after the people return to their home.
Further information will be available by Mas Wan.