Many residents of villages located along the slope of Mount Agung are reluctant to evacuate out of concern over the fate of their livestock.
People have tried to exploit this concern, traveling to the villages and offering to buy the livestock at discounted prices.
Healthy cows normally priced at Rp 10 million are being sold for as low as Rp 5 million, as cattle farmers cut their losses before evacuating to shelters.
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“That’s why we set up these cattle shelters, to provide displaced people with a place for their cattle, thus, eliminating the need for them to sell their livestock at ridiculously low prices,” Klungkung neighborhood association head Nyoman Suardika said.
The free shelter was proposed by several members of the association.
“The displaced people can take shelter in the community hall while the livestock will be placed in the shelter,” he said, adding that the owners were still responsible for feeding and taking care of the cattle.
Ketut Dani, 25 and her daughter, Kadek Desy, 2, pose before their cows at the livestock shelter set up by Banjar Lebah community in Klungkung. Dani and her family left their home village Sebudi after Mt. Agung's alert status raised to the top level. (The Jakarta Post/I Wayan Juniarta)
As of Saturday afternoon, the shelter had received ten cows. The grassroots initiative has spurred the establishment of similar shelters in different areas, including one operated by award-winning documentary filmmaker and farmer Dwitra J. Ariana in Jeruk Mancingan village, Bangli regency.
Furthermore, local administrations are set to use this initiative as a model for livestock shelters during an emergency period.