Poverty Forces Ayu and Her Family to Live in Uninhabitable House

A hut made of tarps, sago palm leaves, and betel nut woods is a dwelling place where Ayu and her family live. The house is so uninhabitable that they have to evacuate every time it rains due to leakage.

Ayu's house
Ayu’s simple house. (ACTNews/Agusriadi)

ACTNews, WEST PASAMAN – Poverty forces Ayu and her family to live in a 3-by-4-meter house. Its roof is made of sago palm leaves. The walls are tarp sheets, and the floor is made of betel nut wood.

Located in Kartini Hamlet in Kiawai Village, West Pasaman, the hut has been inhabited by Ayu and her family since 2019. When it rains, they have to flee because the water goes through the walls and roof.

“If it rains, the water often leaks. The flood that is made of betel nut wood often gets very slippery. If the rain is too heavy, we often have to evacuate to our neighbor or relative’s house,” said Ayu to ACT West Pasaman, Sunday (11/21/2021).

When they evacuate, they have no choice but to leave their belongings inside and soaked by the rain.

“It’s very troublesome to carry all the goods with us. We leave here and dry them in the sun when it’s sunny again,” said Ayu.

Before living there, Ayu and her family had lived with her parents. Difficult economic conditions and the lack of space forced Ayu’s family to establish their own house.

Ayu and her two children. (ACTNews/Agusriadi)

Ayu's husband Sarwono works as a casual daily laborer at an oil palm plantation. Sarwono's income can only cover their essential needs. Ayo, on the other hand, cannot work because she has to focus on their young children.

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) West Pasaman Branch Manager Gatoet Kesuma said when ACT West Pasaman visited their house, they saw firsthand how the house gets soaked when the rain falls.

“It was very sad. We visited them when it rained. Insha Allah, we will raise funds to repair Ayu’s house to make it more habitable," said Gatoet. []