Wisma Nazareth – Banteng Parish, Yogyakarta, Indonesia – 24/11/10 – 20:35 West Indonesia Time. Mt.Merapi eruptions which has been occurred since 26 October is now comes to its end. This declared officially by the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (CVGDM) from the Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources which also decided to narrow the endangered areas. As the result of this policy, tens of thousands of people from around Merapi in two different provinces returned back to their home villages, or relocated to their new IDP camps. Soon the emergency response – which naturally been “colorful” with direct aids donated by so many parties around the country – will end and will be followed with rehabilitation and reconstruction response.
What then the most urgent need by survivors whose houses have not damaged seriously so that they can directly go home after the Mt.Merapi status permits them to do so? It totally unarguable there are two different basic needs needed. They are clean water supply and farming inputs.
As what stated by Widi Sutikno, the Head of Energy and Mineral Resources Office of Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta, on Sunday (21/11), the main clean water resources at Mt. Merapi’s southern slope are not totally damaged by the eruption. Those main resources are Umbul Wadon, Umbul Lanang, and Bebeng. Beside those three main resources there are about another 197 smaller clean water resources from Mt. Merapi that traditionally supplied to hundreds of thousands families in Yogyakarta Province. Among of them are three resources exploited and distributed for Boyong citizens, and another one by citizens from Turen.
“We can still easily identify the three resources up there. They are all totally damaged but they are still there and we can rebuild it, but not yet know the fund resources for it. What we’ll do first surely will sit and discuss together how to reconstruct it and explore the fund resource. Technically as it used to be we’ll build recollection tank right at the water resources, and distribute it to households in our village. The damaged system is only on the river bank, while the plumbing system within the village is still there” said Udjai Mulyana, a Boyong citizen said today (24/11). Even though the piping system Udjai mentioned is still exist within the village, but it seems were designed recklessly without more standard piping system such as primary and secondary pipe installed. Udjai said that clean water system will be the first priority people will fix in Boyong as they extremely need it. Clean water is not primary need for households only, but also for their milking cow farm. Each farmer needs hundreds of liters a day to sterilize the cattle and their cage before they milk them. Each family has two to four cows in average, and milk them twice a day. The same thing happened also in several different villages in Srumbung District, Central Java. Their clean water systems damaged but the water resources are there still. What they plan to do will be rebuild the water recollection tanks and their plumbing systems which were hit by the cold lava flood during the eruptions. That clean water systems become their first basic need as they do not have any other water resources for their daily sanitations and other households’ needs. Farming Inputs
Farming inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, and agricultural equipments are another needs that survivor identify when they’ll be at home after their refuge. As what said by Suwaji, Tumirah, and Muslikah from Srumbung, their snake skin or salak fruit farms were almost totally damaged hit by the volcanic materials exploded from Mt. Merapi crater. To do the recovery for the farms, those three different inputs are extremely needed. “Whatever the aids as far as for our salak farming, that will be very well welcomed” said Muslikah a week ago. She used to produced about two to three hundred kilograms of salak with various incomes between US$89 through US$133 weekly. Muslikah mentioned farming machete as an example of what she meant about the farming equipments. Salak farms have a specific design of farming machete provided in local hardware market which meets the anatomy of the tree. Salak tree thickly covered with thorn and leaves. As reported before, as for plant recovery, farmers will firstly try to trim the damaged leaves hoping the new leave will grow later. Following to that hopefully they may have productive trees. When Muslikah mentioned farming equipments, Suwaji hopes for salak seed plants, fertilizer and plant growth enhancer. He thinks not all of the trees currently farmers have will survive to be productive back. As for that situation, new seed plants will be needed. Picture following this article are: Udjai Mulyana from Boyong talked to the writer, the water piping system in Boyong Village that designed recklessly, salak and coconut farms in Srumbung which hopefully survive later on (Prepared by Abang Rahino for Yakkum Emergency Unit).