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Story Publication logo April 4, 2022

Cutting Down Wood Sows Disaster (bahasa Indonesia)

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A man cuts down a tree in Indonesia.
English

Mentawai Indigenous people are struggling to defend their last forest in North Pagai Island, West...

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Mentawai Kita. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.


Mayer Rumbeyan (26), a resident of West Silabu Hamlet, Silabu Village, North Pagai District, Mentawai Islands Regency, did not expect the heavy rain on Friday (18/3/2022) to cause flooding in his village.


Wooden beams stacked on Polimo Beach before being transported. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.


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"It rained for two days, causing water to inundate my house an inch even though my house is a house on stilts 1 meter off the ground," said Mayer to Mentawaikita.com, Sunday (20/3/2022).

This incident was the first in his village. Apart from West Silabu, there were two other hamlets that had floods, namely South Silabu and North Silabu. Mayer suspected that the flood was caused by the blockage of the Sisieru River in Silabu that empties to the sea, so that the volume of rain did not flow into the sea but instead entered the village. The river was partially buried due to the construction of the Mentawai Essential Oil Cooperative road in Silabu.


The forest has been cleared by heavy equipment of the Mentawai Essential Oil Cooperative, which is planning to build a lemongrass crop. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Piles of wood that was cut down in the forest before being transported to the logpond. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Piles of wooden beams transported from the forest at Polimo Beach, Silabu Village. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Meranti bark peeling workers were resting on a pile of wooden blocks. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Problematic wood log ponds are suspected of using coral reefs to fill the pier. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

The wooden blocks have been partially peeled off by freelancers. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Log pond port to transport wooden beams from land to barges, which Walhi Sumbar later reported. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Conditions of the forest that has been exploited by the Mentawai Essential Oil Cooperative. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

Mayer Rumbeyan (26) in front of a pile of wooden blocks at Polimo Beach, Silabu Village. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.

The label of each wooden block pasted by workers marks the wood belonging to the Mentawai Essential Oil Cooperative. Image by Rus Akbar Saleleubaja/Mentawaikita.com. Indonesia, 2022.