Local Inisiative for Livelihood Recovery


Wisma Nazareth – Banteng Parish, Yogyakarta, Indonesia – Sunday,
14/11/10 – 21:45 West Indonesia Time. Boyong sub-village in Pakem,
Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is located only about seven to eight
kilometers from the crater of Mt.Merapi which has been erupting this
last nineteen days. The village has the direct impact from the
disaster. Because of the eruption, all of the families in Boyong fled
to several different IDP camps around Yogyakarta including those about
550 IDPs with Yakkum Emergency Unit or YEU.

The dead toll from the disaster already has been 162 people and drives
more than 350 thousand people to be IDPs, from around the mountain in
two different provinces, Yogyakarta and Central Java.

There are 105 among 400 families in Boyong who raise milking cows by
erecting the sheds within their home yard. Cow raisings in Boyong
provides additional jobs for local people such as grass harvesting,
milking, and local transportations.

Having cows is not the only income for Boyong citizens, as many of men
have another income mostly from volcanic sand mining such as truck
drivers, miners, or loaders. But still having cow is very important
family economy pillar for them, as production and marketing systems
are already settled and secured. This condition has been set up for
many years as the farmers are the members of Warga Mulia Cooperative.

There have been no major facilities damaged though in Boyong, but
thick volcanic ash ruined a lot of vegetations including grass fields
prepared for the cows. A food concentrate industry run by the coop to
prepare healthy inputs for the cows has also been closed down since
the first day of eruption in 26 October.

Besides, during the first twelve days eruption all cows had been left
in Boyong as people promptly evacuated. As people from areas within
20kms in radial from the crater were evacuated, feedings to the cows
have been very poor. Every early in the morning about 3 to 4pm, many
people quietly go up to Boyong by avoiding government’s security check
points, to milk and feed their cows in the mid of volcanic threats.
Indeed they take risks by doing this.

What people do in Boyong also done by thousands of farmers from around
Merapi slopes who have cows. At the same time, government deploys
thousands of SAR or Search and Rescue team members consists of
military and police forces supported by civilian volunteers, to
evacuate communities as to avoid more victims.

As the consequences of the situation, cows are thin and unhealthy,
which caused the decrease of milk production.

“As for farmers from Boyong, the production downs to about 250 liters
from approximately 800 liters a day before the disaster period”
Danang, the President of Warga Mulia Cooperative said.

Responding to all of those situations, the members and the coop
management take three rapid steps in helping the recovery of farmers’
economical condition. They are cow evacuation from endangered areas,
health recovery initiative, and to stabilize marketing.

“There are three different most impacted groups from seventeen coop
member groups. They are groups from Boyong, Ngepring, and Miripurwo.
As for Boyong, there are 302 cows belong to 105 farmers. We evacuate
them down to a safer place in Cemoroharjo. Then within this coming one
week, we’ll take any effort to find funding for us enable to
temporarily pay all cows we evacuate. This effort is extremely needed
by farmers as they don’t have any cash right now. Hopefully within the
next three to six months, coop management will be able to recover the
health of all cows. At the same time within that period, we’ll produce
and market the milk. Then after the cows will be healthy, we’ll offer
to farmers whether they want their cows back by paying to coop, or ask
us to find buyers” Gunawan, the coop Manager explain steps of recovery
initiative by the coop management and members.

The initiative taken by all stakeholders within the Warga Mulia
Cooperative, shows to us on how local initiative work well and even
more efficient than what outsiders can do such as from government

When it was asked to Danang – the President of the coop – related to
government initiative to buy cows from disaster areas, he reluctantly
answers clearly. Danang only said that what he surely knows is already
ideas among some few numbers of farmers to sell their cows to local

“They have ideas to sell, but I’ve been trying my best to remind them
not to do that. Free fall price will be applied by those brokers as
they only taking a fortune. I told farmers, that they need to treat
and maintain their cows as their ATM or automated teller machine”,
Danang said before he set a coop meeting to discuss recovery process.

As reported by Kompas Daily, the widest circulated newspaper in
Indonesia, Sunday (14/11), more farmers from throughout Merapi sold
their cows to brokers who paid very cheap the cattle. They only want
to pay down to fifty or sixty percent from the normal price. Kompas
says that farmers let them paid that low for they extremely need cash
as they don’t have any income in refugee camps.

As for most Warga Mulia Cooperative members, Danang explains that they
all totally have dreams to rebuild their future by raising cows.

“Because of that, we take those three steps for their economy
recovery”, Danang said, as if he intended to show that the coop and
its members try their best to fight the efforts of brokers to take
fortune in the mid of difficulties.

Picture above shows some of cows belong to Warga Mulia Cooperative in
their evacuation site. (Story & Picture prepared by Abang Rahino for
Yakkum Emergency Unit).


About oaseindisasters

Oase in Disaster - Yakkum Emergency Unit This blog is official blog of Yakkum Emergency Unit Member of ACT Alliance and Member of Humanitarian Forum of Indonesia. The contents of this blog covers the YEU's activities related to emergency responds activities in Indonesia. Currently, we are working in emergency respon in three different areas; to respond Wasior flash-flood affected people in Manokwari, West Papua, tsunami-Mentawai affected people in Mentawai, West Sumatera, and Merapi Volcano Eruption in Central Java and Yogyakarta. At the national level, we are coordinating within the network of Humanitarian Forum of Indonesia (HFI) and at the International level we're coordinating with Global Network for Disaster Reduction and ACT Alliance. Email: yeu@yeu.or.id Follow us in twitter @yeu2001 www.yeu.or.id www.actalliance.org www.humanitarianforumindonesia.org
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