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 Thousands of people still live in isolated areas in NTB

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Lombok Looney

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PostSubject: Thousands of people still live in isolated areas in NTB   Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:23 pm

Thousands of people still live in isolated areas in NTB
Panca Nugraha , THE JAKARTA POST , MATARAM | Mon, 02/16/2009 10:44 AM | The Archipelago

At least 11,241 heads of family, or approximately 17,180 people still live in isolated areas, removed from the modern world, in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), according to newly released data from the local administration.

Their areas are not accessible by transportation so that they have no access to health or education services. Mortality, illiteracy and rates of death during labor remain high.

Data from the population and civil registration division of the West Nusa Tenggara Social Service Office shows that nearly half (5,484) of the isolated heads of family were found in Dompu with; the others were spread throughout a number of locations including in West Lombok, Central Lombok, East Lombok, West Sumbawa, Sumbawa and Bima.

“The isolated people live in locations which cannot be easily reached due to limited infrastructure, especial roads. They practically do not get health and education services from the government,” Bachruddin, head of the social service office, said over the weekend.

He further explained that the isolated people live far from the village centers, on the slopes of mountains or on the boundaries of forests. Their livelihoods depend entirely on the natural resources around them, he said.

“In a number of locations, the payment is by barter even though they already know about money. “Their coconut products, for example, are exchanged with soaps or toothpaste,” he said.

He said that up to 200 heads of family on Batu Jong Island in East Lombok were forced to walk five kilometers to reach the nearest community health center.

The difficulties of getting health services leave them to rely on traditional healers to cure various types of illnesses, ranging from fever to complications of childbirth. It is only when the condition of patients worsens that they are brought to the health centers.

“It takes at least three hours to reach the isolated areas from the village center. That’s why elementary students there reached their school at 10 a.m. after walking since 7 a.m., and go back home in the evening,” he said.

Bachruddin explained that the local administration launched an empowerment program for isolated people in 2004, but that it has not yet shown results.

“The strange thing is that many officials of the regent administration know about the isolated people after getting information from us,” he said.

Tasripin, head of the empowerment program, said that the number of isolated people tends to rise in line with the rising population rate.

Despite their isolation, Tarsipin said, they are not wholly closed off like the Badui traditional community in West Java or Dani tribe in Papua. Many isolated people in NTB have interacted with outsiders.

Even though the NTB provincial administration launched free education and health services this year, it did have much affect on the thousands of isolated people as the programs have failed reach them.

Thousands of people still live in isolated areas in NTB
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PostSubject: Re: Thousands of people still live in isolated areas in NTB   Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:00 am

Hello Gemma

Never heard about Pulau Batu Jong in Lombok Timur... even on a map I did not find it... very remote area indeed !!
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