Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Activists, farmers preserve Balinese water resources

Thu, February 6, 2020   /   09:16 am
  • /

    An old tree in Merta Jati forest, Bali. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    Farmers and volunteers walk over a fallen tree. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    The big trees on Lesung Hill guard water resources in the area. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    Sanjaya, a volunteer, carries banyan plants. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    A volunteer named Ima joins the banyan tree planting at Lesung Hill, Buleleng, Bali. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    Volunteer Ditha holds two banyan plants. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    A farmer digs a hole for the banyan plant. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    Agung Wedha prays at Mua Temple.JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    Lesung Hill at Tamblingan Lake in Buleleng, Bali. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    Lake Tamblingan is one of the main water resources of Bali. JP/Anggara Mahendra

  • /

    A banyan plant is planted in the barren part of Merta Jati forest. JP/Anggara Mahendra

Anggara Mahendra

Banyan trees are known to have good, strong roots. Considered sacred by Balinese Hindus, the trees are believed to be where the Gods reside. People also believe that natural balance will only be maintained if the banyan trees are taken care of and are presented with daily offerings.

The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hindu Religious Council (PHDI) routinely holds the ritual of nunas sabeh mapag toya (praying for rain) during the summer. Last
year’s long summer affected the farming industry and rain finally came in December.

During the most recent ritual, 120 banyan plants were carried by farmers and volunteers, with the hope that the seeds would grow into big, lush trees.

One of the farmers was Agung Wedha, founder of Bali Organik Subak and the Cool Young Farmers community. He believes that holy offerings can go beyond rituals.

Their last visit was to the Merta Jati forest near Lake Tamblingan.

With its surging population, Bali’s demand for water is also on the rise. Data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) showed that there were 3.8 million Balinese people who lived alongside 6 million tourists. For Agung and his communities, preserving water resources is crucial to maintain the Balinese philosophy of life, the Tri Hita Karana, which dictates that all Balinese must live in harmony with their surroundings. (wng)