Transmigrant families leave C. Sulawesi
Scores of transmigrant families from Java, who have been dwelling in Tokelemo village in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi, for the past year, have abandoned their homes.
However, before leaving, they sold their houses and land despite the fact that they had been
provided by the government, which had also given them a year’s living expenses.
Local villager Muhammad Jufri told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the homes and land provided to the transmigrants were sold to residents in Tokelemo village and people from Palu, who cultivated crops there.
“All I know is that some of the household heads who have sold the land and homes provided to them have returned to their hometowns in West Java,” said Jufri.
The transmigrant housing and land were sold at between Rp 4 million (US$445) and Rp 7 million each.
Both the transmigrant families were previously placed in Tojo Una-Una regency, added Jufri.
Based on data from the Sigi Transmigration Office, 10 transmigrant families from Tojo Una-Una had been placed together with 100 families from West Java at the Tokelemo Transmigration Settlement (UPT).
The Tokelemo UPT is located around 15-kilometers from Tongoa village, Palolo district, Sigi.
To reach the UPT, residents have to walk from Tongoa village for eight hours through dense forest and cross large and small rivers.
During the rainy season residents could not cross the rivers due to floods and the lack of bridges.
Tokelemo UPT is inhabited by transmigrants from outside and some local residents hailing from surrounding villages.
Palolo acting district chief Yunus said he had learned that a number of transmigrants had left the location.
“I’ve learned of it, but I have yet to receive a written report from the local village chief,” he said.
He said he regretted the matter because they had been placed there in 2011.
Yunus added that 100 transmigrant families from West Java would be placed at Tokelemo UPT in a second wave.
“However, we have yet to receive information about when they will be placed there,” he said.
“No migrants should have returned to Java. They should come back in the second wave with 100 transmigrant families,” said Yunus.