Minister urges to hold joint campaign to empower indigenous tribes

Jambi (ANTARA News) – Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa has called on her colleagues in the cabinet to join the campaign to empower the Suku Anak Dalam indigenous tribes in Jambi Province.

“After my visit to the Suku Anak Dalam community in Sarolangun and Merangin, I have disseminated the news to the cabinet ministers. Many of them gave a positive response,” Parawansa stated here, Monday.

Parawansa said that Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan had shared his plan to drill artesian wells at the permanent housing built by the Social Affairs Ministry in the districts of Sarolangun and Merangin of Jambi.

Minister of Rural, Rural Development, and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo revealed his plan to align his ministrys rural empowerment program with the aspirations of the indigenous tribes.

“Forestry and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya and the state secretary have also given a similar response,” she noted.

Khofifah believed that such a positive response will offer the necessary momentum to undertake efforts to empower Suku Anak Dalam, as social integration for the indigenous tribes would not be an easy process.

The minister acknowledged that Suku Anak Dalam tribes have played an important role in preserving the forest. However, as most of the forest areas have been converted into rubber and palm oil plantations, food resources for the nomadic group have shrunk.

The tribes hunt wild boar and sell them at Rp6,000 per kilogram. They now have to walk deep into the forest to hunt the wild animal but often have to return empty-handed.

The governments offer to build accommodation in cooperation with the regional government for the tribal community outside the forest will become a strategic effort to help them.

“Socialize with the locals, bring their children to school, and promote a clean and healthy way of living; this process is necessary,” she stated, adding that the tribes will also need assistance from non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and the local community.

According to the ministrys data, the population of Suku Anak Dalam in Sarolangun District had reached 2.7 thousand and 1.6 thousand in Merangin District.

Source: Antara News