ACT Distributes Food Packages to Anak Dalam Communities

To respond to the hunger caused by food depletion that is afflicting the Anak Dalam communities, ACT has visited them since Tuesday (10/22) to provide food packages.

Anak Dalam people welcoming the ACT-MRI Jambi team who arrived to bring hundreds of food packages. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, BATANG HARI – Anak Dalam people are groups of nomadic people who live in the tropical forests of southeast Sumatera, including in national parks in Jambi. They usually eat any game they find. If there are no animals available, they’ll fill their stomach with only water.

One of the settlements of Anak Dalam people are Bungku Village, Bajubang Subdistrict, Batang Hari Regency. The village is bordered by plantation owned by a palm oil company and Bukit Dua Belas National Park. In Bungku Village, they survive by foraging everything they can get from nature.

However, since a few weeks ago, Anak Dalam community in Bungku have been suffering from hunger caused by several factors. Husien Wijaya from the Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Jambi said that among the causes of the hunger is the depleted food sources in the forest due to deforestation and drought.

"In Jambi, the rains have only unevenly fallen on several parts of the province. As a result, there are still many areas hit by drought, causing depletion of food sources for the Anak Dalam People, since they rely on nature for food, "Husen said, Thursday (10/24).

For Anak Dalam people who are Muslims, they can only eat game animals that are halal. Unfortunately, the availability of these animals, too, has been scarce.

The handover of food assistance from ACT to Anak Dalam Community who were starving, Wednesday (10/23). (ACTNews)

Wijaya added, despite the limited availability of food, the Anak Dalam communities still chose to live in the rainforests. They aim to protect the forest from rapid deforestation as well as the land and forest fires that happen every year.

In addition to the Bukung Village, Anak Dalam communities are also scattered in other locations within the national park in Jambi. On Tuesday (10/22), ACT visited the Anak Dalam communities in Bungku to distribute 100 food packages. On Wednesday (10/23), the team visited another Anak Dalam community located on the other side of the forest. Their village is located quite far away and it takes 3 to 4 hours to get there.

ACT will continue to distribute food packages to the Anak Dalam communities for the next few days. There are at least 6 locations Anak Dalam settlements that will be reached. It took quite a lot of time to reach these areas due to the difficult access across the jungle. "Today (Thursday, 10/24) we are on our way to the Anak Dalam settlement in Sarolangun Regency," added Wijaya. []