Thu, 04 May 2000

Transmigrants want to go home

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya: As many as 47 transmigrant families at the Bonggo resettlement unit VIII marched to the provincial legislative council to demand that the government send them home or resettle them in a more appropriate area.

The head of Commission F of the legislature, Hulda Wanggober Imbiri, who received the transmigrants, admitted that the area where the families were resettled was inadequate.

The resettlement unit VIII in Bonggo is situated some 200 kilometers southeast of here.

Public transportation was not available from Jayapura to Bonggo.

"We could not sell our crops," Anton Leo, one of the transmigrants said.

He said residents had to spend Rp 25,000 in motorcycle taxi (ojek) fares each to reach the closest resettlement area.

"The resettlement site was also lacking medication. Once a man suffering from malaria was given a contraceptive pill."

Around 100 families, mostly from Java, were resettled in the area in 1998.

Spokesmen for the disgruntled transmigrants, Paulus Lake and Anton Leo said that drainage and irrigation systems were not made available at the location.

Hulda confirmed that the stagnant water had caused various illnesses for the resettlers. (eba)