Thu, 30 Aug 2001

Sumberkima soon to be famous

BULELENG, North Bali (JP): With not much natural resources, Sumberkima village is only but a poor village in the western part of Buleleng regency. However, if everything goes according to plans, its fate might take a turn for the better.

The planned construction of Lt.Col. Wisnu airfield is bringing fresh hope to the poor villagers.

Buleleng Regent Ketut Wirata Sindhu hopes the construction of the airfield will create employment for the local people. "I hope some day, one of children here would become a pilot," the regent said.

The construction of the airfield is also expected to usher in the construction of hotels and other real estate development, thereby boosting the economic activities of the villagers who are mostly fishermen and farmers.

Due to their poverty, some of the villagers have resorted to illegal means to earn money such as using cyanide to capture ornamental fish or selling protected coral reefs. Some villagers have moved to other cities to make a living.

With their poor educational background -- only about 70 percent of them have elementary and junior high school education -- the villagers have very few job options.

The villagers who comprise local Balinese Hindus and Muslims from Java, Madura and Sulawesi nevertheless live in peace.

With its infertile and dry fields, Sumberkima has lagged behind other villages such as Pemuteran and Sumber Klampok, which are now seen as potential tourist resorts. Hopefully a new airfield will change all that. (Pariama Hutasoit)