Sand Miner’s of Woro River Luck


Tuesday, 14 December 2010


That day Merapi looked so beautiful. There was a thin cloud covering the mountain. Merapi became friend of people who live on its slope. Whenever the mountain is active, the hot cloud erupted, and the material erupted, the people stepped aside for awhile. They let the mountain active because they believe that Merapi give blessing to Sleman, Yogyakarta, Magelang, Boyolali, and Klaten. Sand, volcanic ash, stones, and sulfur are the gift from the mountain for those who life from agriculture, fishery, sand quarry and poultry.

The activities of tourism, economic, agriculture, poultry, fishery, and sand quarry in the slope of Merapi have slept for a while. After few weeks off, the economy activities of those who life in the slope of Merapi near Woro river, Klaten (6 km from the peak) started to rise again. Materials like sand, stone, rock which were exploded from the volcano become the living sources for the sand miner. Even though 2 weeks ago the status of Merapi was still danger, those miners have started their activities. They were busy doing their activites to fulfill their needs.

Woro River’s sand was collected and put into the buckets then brought it on their head to the truck. Went back down to the river bank, brought the empty bucket and again filled it with the sand and brought it up to the truck. Enormous energy and sweat are not a burden. The sun burn became the compensation of every rupiahs. There were many elderly who becomes a sand miner. The old women brought the hoe and a bucket of sand to the truck.


Since 7 o’clock, sand miners brought their hoe, bucket, cloth to bring the sand, and spade to collect 6 cubic of sand. Warjo, a sand miner has to go up and down to bring the sand to the truck which is far from the bank. The truck could not directly go down to the bench because the road was broken because of the heavy rain. Even though the intensity of the eruption is reduced, it does not mean that they are safe. They have to aware of the cold lava flood whenever there is heavy rain in the peak.


The road along Jogonalan sub-district and Kemalang sub-district, Klaten District is full of trucks. At 10.00 until 11.00, there are 73 trucks with sand or stone inside. Each truck brought about 6 cubic of sand. In a day, a group of miner (4-5 persons) could sell 2 trucks full of sand. A truck with 6 cubic sand cost Rp. 180.000 – Rp. 220.000. Marwan, sand miner could get Rp. 60.000 until Rp. 100.000 per day, it is a good income because they do not get any for some times.


“In a day, I load 2 trucks of sand. More than that, I am not strong enough to handle.” Mrs. Daryo said while drying her sweat. This old woman busily moved the sand into the truck. Constant movements, bend, dig sand, stand and throw the sand into the truck form the morning until afternoon.


Ade, a truck driver from Boyolali, usually wait for one until two hours so that his truck is full of sand and ready to deliver to the consumer in Boyolali. The sand and stone from Merapi are the main source for their living. The sand contains iron and low mud. It is good for concrete. Merapi’s sand is good for building, does not need much sand.”



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