the population is in crisis

The drought presents agriculture with enormous challenges. Well construction is an option, but it takes time. In other regions there has been no rainfall for months.

Jakarta () – It has not rained for three months in the province of Nusa Tenggara, in eastern Indonesia. Local agriculture is the activity that suffers most from the lack of rainfall. The most affected area, near Rambangaru, is the Haharu sub-municipality on Sumba Island. Ryan Sudrajat, from the Agency for Climatology and Geophysics, explains: “Rambangaru is the area most affected by the drought”, while four other regions have not recorded rainfall for at least two months.

It is becoming more difficult to lead a normal daily life: “Here in Sumba, we only have a limited time to cultivate the land because eight months of the year there is no rain,” says Kamto, a native of Central Java. While in the southeast of the island there are rice paddies and vegetables are grown, in areas with scarce water resources, maize, cucumbers and cashews are mainly grown.

To cope with periods of drought, the local population stores tons of water in large reservoirs, but these have been depleted in recent months due to increased individual consumption. For families, it is often very expensive to buy 6,000 liters of water from the local government agency in charge of water supply.

The only solution could be the construction of wells, but this would take a long time, given the rocky nature of the terrain that covers the subsoil. “Excavation requires reaching about 60-70 meters deep. If you are lucky, you can have the well in a week,” Kamto explained, “but it takes much longer if the exploration gets stuck in rocky and hard ground.”

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