Merauke, 2/3 (Jubi) – The intensity of sand excavations at Lampu Satu Beach and surrounding areas has resulted sea abrasion, but when many houses of local community were affected by seawater, some people blamed it on Mbuti people.
However, Burhanuddin Zein, the lecture of Musamus University, dismiss the accusations against Mbuti people. “We cannot blame the Mbuti people mining the sea sands. The local government of Merauke should consider whether they have paid serious attention to this activity or not,” he told tabloidjubi.com on Saturday (1/3).
Further he said that everyone should note that the Mbuti people are the tenure rights owners within the areas of Merauke City whose land has been used for development. Perhaps, he added, less attention from the local government encouraged them to mine sand to make a living.
“I have a good idea for the local government. Mbuti people who now live on the seaside must have their own village. It means the government should look for a new location and build houses for them. The government also needs to prepare the planting areas so they can plant local commodities such as sago, coconut, sweet potato and banana,” he said.
He believes people will stop the mining activities if the government helped them. “We have to know that Mbuti people have no other sources of income but the sand. So it’s normal if then they have been digging sand in order to earn some money for their everyday lives,” he said.
The deputy chairman of the Customary Institution of Merauke Regency, Albert Moiwen, said efforts to end sand mining have failed “We do not blame anyone, including the government if the seawater is entering the residents’ houses,” he said. (Jubi/Frans L Kobun/rom)