The Urgency of Waqf Well for Agricultural Lands in Bekasi

Not far from the capital city of Jakarta, there are still many people who are short of clean water. They have to work as farmers amid the severe drought or do other jobs that don’t make much money.

A farmer in Sukatenang Village, Sukawangi District, cultivating a rice field that has become dry due to the drought. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, BEKASI - Almost every dry season, Bekasi Regency, is stricken with drought. From the middle of the year, the drought usually lasts for seven to eight months. The impacts of the drought are quite severe on the agricultural lands and the livelihood of the locals.

As reported by Radar Bekasi, Head of the Food Crops Division of the Bekasi Regency Agriculture Service, Nayu Kulsum, revealed that the target for rice planting in September 2020 is 5 thousand hectares. Unfortunately, only 800 hectares of land is cultivated so far due to several obstacles, including the lack of water for agricultural needs.

Nayu assessed that if the dry season continues for the next few months, the rice fields will have to suffer crop failure. "The rice fields could dry up and suffer from crop failure. Areas that are affected by water crisis are in the north [Bekasi] because the irrigation system there has suffered a lot of damage. The agricultural lands are located higher than the irrigation canals. To anticipate this, water pumps must be used," she explained.

Based on Global Wakaf - ACT Bekasi’s observation, one of the areas that are affected by drought is Sukatenang Village in Sukawangi District. Agus Suharyadi, one of the local community leaders said that many rice fields in the area are not equipped with water pumps and rely only on water from irrigation, rivers, and rainwater so that, during dry season, the rice fields are very likely to be affected by drought and crop failure.

"In this region, we really need artificial water sources (wells) both for domestic and agricultural uses we are prone to drought, especially for rice fields, which really need water,” said Agus, Friday (9/11).

To ease the effects of the dry season, Agus continued, farmers usually cultivate alternative plants that are able to survive even with a little water such as chili pepper and bitter melon. However, the prices of vegetables are very volatile. Hence, the farmers must also look for other jobs during dry season, such as construction workers and motorbike taxi drivers.

Muhamad Ihsan from the Global Wakaf – ACT Bekasi Program Department said that agricultural wells are a currently very much needed by residents of Sukatenang Village, who are mostly farmers. "Therefore, we are endeavoring to build an Agricultural Waqf Well in the village. Through the waqf movement, we invite the everyone to come together to build a source of clean water for the farmers there. To channel the waqf funds, you can visit Indonesia Dermawan website," concluded Ihsan. []