Having Much Money but Without Houses


Not all of the survivors of Merapi volcano come back to their village. Some of them have lost their houses which were disappeared, buried by volcanic material or damage by the eruption. One of the hamlets is called Bakalan, in Argomulyo village. This hamlet placed in the red zone (KRB 3) of month Merapi and all the houses in this hamlet disappeared under the sand from the eruption. Now the native of the hamlet consisting of 88 house hold, lives in 6x7meter squares shelter for more or less 2 years which located in Kuwang with other survivors from different hamlets. Near the shelters, there are some pools made of excavated soil and covered by tarpaulins, and thousands of catfish breed there. Those pools and catfish were donation from the government as the alternative of their livelihood. Right now most of the survivors work as sand digger they can easily get 100thousand rupiahs is a day, it is not a small number for a day income. This condition makes some people leave their jobs and become sand digger.      


They receive many donations from many sources. It can be in the form of money, food items, non food items which help them to living their live. The head of the hamlet said that the donation is more than enough for living their life, right now. Besides the catfish which donated by the government there also cows which donated by Indosiar. Some of Bakalan people were farmers (grass and cattle) and because of the eruption they lost almost all of them. Hopefully by replacing the cattle, the economic activity starts again.


To manage the donation they get, the people in the hamlet check the donation to the merchant. Whenever they need the items they ask the merchant to give them the items need, but when they do not need the items the merchant can sell it, and the interest of it can shared between the merchant and the person. It is a kind of saving but in the form of items not money. It is the way they maintain the donation they get so that it is not wasted. Some of the people also use this way in maintaining the house donation for them. To show their compassion toward other who do not get money donation for building the house, those who get it, do not build their houses right away but change the money into concrete block, they collect the sand from their land, mix it with cement and press it. After that, they check concrete block to the merchant and they will take it in the right time.


What Bakalan people want is to have their own house. Their land disappeared under the Merapi sand so that it is impossible to rebuild their house on their own land. They have to find the alternative land to build their house, one of their alternatives is “tanah kas desa” which located in the yellow zone (KRB2), but how to divide it and how to build the house is still discussed. Hopefully in next 2 years the Bakalan people can get their own house and before that the people and the government can sit together to discuss the relocation issue.


It just the story from one of the hamlet which heavily damage from the merapi eruption.




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