Wed, 25 Sep 2002

Thousands forced to eat dried cassava

SAMPANG, Madura: Prolonged drought has forced 4,021 families in the remote Mandangin Island, Sampang regency, East Java to eat dried cassava.

Sampang legislator Hasan Asrori said on Tuesday that the drought had also contributed to the spread of diseases caused by the lack of clean water. He urged the local administration to give food and medical assistance to the people.

The locals, mostly fishermen, were also afraid to go fishing as strong winds associated with the dry weather system were dangerous.

Locals pay Rp 2,500 for one small container of clean water and use salt water from the well for cleaning.

The regent is scheduled to distribute 20 tons of rice assistance this Wednesday, with each family promised five kilograms of rice. --Antara