Timor and Roti Island
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West Timor is the principal island in terms of population where the capital of the province, Kupang, is located. Kupang is now being developed to be the gate- way to Nusa Tenggara. There are direct flights from /to Darwin-Australia. West Timor is rich in various cultures, beautiful sceneries, and a wonderful nature. Made up of dry, rocky land, isolated communities, rolling cattle land, a variety of styles of architecture, Timor is basically something that possesses its own original characteristics.
West Timor is a political region that comprises the western half of Tomir Island with the exception of Oecussi-Ambeno district (which is politically part of East Timor) and forms a part of Indonesia province of East Nusa Tenggara, (NTT or Nusa TenggaraTimur). West Timor’s capital and chief port is Kupang. The land area of West Timor is 15,850 km. During the colonial period it was known as Dutch Timor and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949).
Rote Island, the southernmost island of Indonesia, is just to the southwest of West Timor. Three native languages belonging of Carbonic Stock of the Austronesian group of languages are spoken in West Timor, the others in East Timor. These languages are Ndaonese, Rotinese, and Helong.
|From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
Rote Island (Indonesian: Pulau Rote, also spelled Roti) is an island of Indonesia, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It has an area of 1200 km². It lies 500 km northeast of the Australian coast and 170 km northeast of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. The island is situated to the southwest of the larger island of Timor. To the north is the Savu Sea, and to the south is the Timor Sea. To the west is Savu and Sumba. The uninhabited Dana Island (also called Ndana), just south of Rote, with an area of 14 km², is the southernmost island of Indonesia. Along with some other nearby small islands, such as Ndao, it forms the kabupaten (regency) of Roti Ndao, which in 2005 held an estimated population of 108,615.
The main town, called Ba’a, is located in the north of the island. It has a good surf area in the south around the village of Nembralla. There is a daily ferry to the island from Kupang, the provincial capital on West Timor, which brings tourists.
Agriculture is the main form of employment. Fishing is also important, especially in the eastern village of Papela, which has led to disputes with Australia over the water between them.
|Rote Island is a part of Kupang Regency and is the southernmost island of Indonesia. It is located in the west coast of Kupang. This exotic island can be reached only in four hours. From Kupang by inter-island ferry to dive and tour this untouched beautifully rugged land. Spectacular walls and caverns mirror the hills, valleys, and escarpments underwater. The marine life is so varied and profuse that is hard to believe from Fire-fish to Mantas. The architecture of Rote is unique, as is their exquisite ikat weaving. See the people is their traditional lifestyle, which has remained unchanged for centuries.|
Rote has many historical relies including fine antique Chinese porcelains, as well as ancient arts and traditions. Many prominent Indonesia nationalist leaders were born here. A popular music instrument Sasando, which is made of palm leaves. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer, who could not speaking Portuguese, introduced himself, “Rote”.
Before Indonesia’s Independence, Rote, boasted the highest density of kingdom in the East Indies. Even today the island, the Rotenese and their kingdoms are divided, following ancient tradition, into two domains, one known as Sunrise and one as Sunset. A “male” Lord, a “female” Lord and several advisers, representing the clans within that domain, rules the domain. Each clan that possesses ceremonial rights performs it’s own rituals during the annual HUS celebration, a traditional New Year festival. At the HUS, Rotenese men wearing their unique hats make offerings to the clan ancestors and the women dance accompanied by sasando, The Rotenese guitar.
Rote is particularly well know for its surfing, each year surfers flock to Namberala to ride the near perfect tubes formed by the shallow reefs and off-shore winds. Accommodation in Namberala includes a traditional beachfront bungalow resort and several home stays. The beach itself is one of the best examples of a palm fringed pure white sandy beach to be found anywhere. Diving in the area is also exceptional due to the large numbers of Manta and Dugong seen there. A boat trip to nearby Dana or Ndao Islands is also recommended.
|ROTE ISLAND TRAILS|
5 Days / 4 Nights
Day 01 KUPANG ARRIVAL
Day 02 KUPANG-ROTE
Day 03 ROTE
Day 04 ROTE-KUPANG
Day 05 KUPANG DEPARTURE
Rote Ndao faces poverty, climate change and apathy
The Jakarta Post
Rote Ndao faces poverty, climate change and apathy
Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Kupang
Like other villagers, Arnold Henukh has never complained about conditions he and his family face in Koa village on Rote Island with its barren lands, wild climate and apathetic government.
The father of starved 5-year-old Yusuf Henukh did not protest the failure of harvests this year, because it had also hit other villages.
“Excessive rainfall since October last year has lead to the failure of our rice harvest, but also inundated most villages on Rote and Ndao islands, triggering a food crisis. As they have done in the past, villagers have processed Lontar to be made into flour as a raw-material for tutak or sweet porridge,” he said.
Some 300,000 people who inhabit the two islands—which became a new regency in 2003—have survived using traditional agriculture, for centuries. Relying on the natural environment, islanders harvest crops such as unhusked rice and corn, once a year (in
“In droughts, like this year, locals have no livestock and have relied on corn and tutak. The worst hit by the food crisis were children and babies. There is too much malnutrition in the regency,” said a village head, who asked for anonymity.
“The local government has allocated a special fund to tackle the food crisis, but the funding rarely reached the intended recipients,” he said.
Until this week, seven children under five have died from starvation in the region. Their deaths were among more than 50 very young children who lost their lives due to nutritional disorders in the province.
These figures have been reduced with help from international aid agencies including World Vision and AUSAID.
The malnutrition affecting the area was a result of the drought-induced crop failures over the past two years, regency secretary Joel Yakob said.
Local health office head Stef Bria Seran criticized the central government, which he said had neglected the emergency situation not only on Rote Ndao, but in almost all 20 regencies and municipalities of the province.
“Don’t blame us for the malnutrition. Just ask relevant authorities handling food affairs. Is there sufficient food for people, what kinds of food, do they have enough protein, carbohydrates, milk and vitamins, or not?”
Bria denied withholding emergency funds, saying the local government had proposed a Rp 56 billion program recently, but the central government had been apathetic.
The province, he said, was underdeveloped because it lacked resources. The changing climate had worsened conditions for agriculture on the already barren islands, he said.
Provincial health officer Maxi Taopan said since 2007 the central government had stopped providing aid for the region’s nutrient betterment.
The central government had disbursed Rp 50 billion to handle the emergency situation, but his office had not checked whether the funds reached intended recipients or not, Taopan said.
Taopan promised to check on the Rp 1 billion which was allocated to handle malnutrition in the regency’s 2008 budget.
The key problem the regency faces is how to empower people and improve their farming skills, Yakob said, adding that they should build irrigation systems so agriculture did not depend as much on rainfall.
Farmers could improve their productivity and simultaneously eradicate poverty, he said.
East Nusa Tenggara chief councillor Kristo Blasin criticized the government which, he said, ignored malnutrition and poverty affecting the majority of the population.
“Both the ailing governor and regents have turned blind eyes to the issue which has been in the national spotlight,” Blasin said.
“Local officials have yet to check whether programs to repair the human development index are underway or not,” he said.
“A large proportion of the province’s energy and resources have been spent on political interests, rather than for public welfare,” he added.
The provincial government reported some 90,000 malnutrition-related cases presently, among the province’s 498,000 children under 5.