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Rivers gone dry, villagers facing difficulties to get basic needs in Central Kalimantan

Sampit, Ekuatorial – As rivers dried up due to long dry season, local villagers in Central Kalimantan were facing difficulties to get their basic necessities, said a villager recently.

The condition hit hardest for Mentaya river in Antang Kalang village of East Kotawaringin district, Samba river in Marikit and Katingan Hulu of Katingan district, and Barito river in Puruk Cahu of Murung Raya district.
In addition, several villages, such as Tumbang Nahan, Tumbang Rangai, Hejan, Gagu, Buntut Nusa, Sungai Puring, Kuluk Talawang, not only experienced drought but also potentially isolated as it would take four to five days to reach those areas.

Hardi P. Hady, village chief of Antang Kalang, East Kotawaringin district, said that since dry season hit the village, the river, which served as main transportation, dried up making it hard for people to travel or get their basic necessities.
“Villagers need assistance because as rivers dried up, consequently cut off our routes. We have requested for East Kotawaringin district and related agencies to help distribute basic necessities or at least fix the road to villages which do not have land access,” said Hady.

Furthermore, he said that villagers were living in concerning state because the prices have gone up significantly and their crops were producing poorly.
“The river gone dry had affected prices for basic necessities because prices for water transportation have also increased,” he said. “They couldn’t go anywhere using their boats because kelotok [small boat used to transport fuels and other items] are useless if rivers dried up.”

He cited villagers of Buntut Nusa and Tumbang Gagu have to walk for hours to neighboring village to get their basic necessities. “It’s getting really hard for them, especially those living in remote areas. They couldn’t get their needs, they couldn’t go anywhere, even if they can get their necessities, it’s taking too long,” he said adding that he had hoped for local government to open access for those remote areas. Maturidi

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