Thursday, December 3, 2009

Transport River in East Kalimantan

By: Bosman Coal (Geologist, a member of Forum Lafadl)

They say that the island of Borneo is a thousand rivers. And indeed, on the island of Borneo, some large rivers flow erodes the Earth's crust, from upstream to downstream. Call it for example, Barito River in South Kalimantan (Kalimantan) and the Mahakam River in East Kalimantan (Kaltim). One time, I had the opportunity to do an expedition on the island whose territory until now owned by three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam is.

In Java, when people talked about transportation, it is likely that their images will focus on ground transportation such as cars and trains. Or on the island of Sumatra, when people talk about transportation, which is probably reflected land transportation. And for residents on both islands, transportation of water is a scarce item. Of course, with some exceptions, such as for residents who live on the banks of river Musi River in Palembang City.

In Borneo, the river seems to be a kind of pulse that can not be separated from community life. Besides as a means of water transportation, not a few villages in Borneo's population rely on the existence of the river with the profession as fishermen.

Mahakam River to link the cities of the coast with a small town and villages in the interior. Mahakam River is tipped in the Northwest part of the East Kalimantan, the 'golden path' of inestimable role in the lives of residents along the coast (people who live along the Mahakam River, always call the Mahakam Beach for their area).

Various kinds of river transportation in East Kalimantan. The transportation distance, say from Samarinda towards upstream, for example to the city of Muara Lawa, so people usually use the Water Bus. Muara Lawa own city is the capital PAHU Muara district. A small town no longer irrigated by the Mahakam River, but split by the river PAHU extension, which is the child Mahakam River.

Besides carrying passengers, Air Bus is usually also a means of transport for the various needs of the population. Staple food, electronic equipment, and fuel oil (BBM) are goods that are commonly found on the ship that would menghulu toward inland. Meanwhile, from upstream to downstream, rattan, various kinds of handicrafts, and fresh water fish that have been marinated, usually a commodity to be transported in the Water Bus.

The bus climbed the water for people who are not native Borneo, may be an interesting experience that offers countless memories. Tropical conditions in Kalimantan are still green; the way our eyes see the river and tropical trees, even if lucky might see Irrawaddy Dolphin fish that jumped out of the water, or the monkeys hanging in the trees on the riverbank. Water Bus stops occasionally at the riverside village of Dayaks. Lowering of one or more of passengers or cargo. And then back off again. The passengers themselves, usually do various activities on the Water Bus to kill time. Starting from chatting with other passengers, eating in the cafeteria ship, watching television, and karaoke. Though apparently, the activity can not be enjoyed karaoke maximum for ship engines roar deafening enough.

Because the travel time to and from the hinterland for a long time, for example, from a small town on the banks of Muara Lawa River until PAHU extension in Samarinda, the cost of 100 thousand dollars per person, a bus takes water downstream for approximately 17 hours. And more time is needed for the reverse direction. To reach Muara Lawa from Samarinda, it takes approximately 20 hours. Jams Bus Movement against the current water stream, as well as unloading activities of goods in several cities that passed.

In addition to Air Bus, speed boat, became one of the usual means of transportation used on the beach along the Mahakam and the tributaries flowing into the Mahakam. Speed boat but is usually used for the needs of urgent nature. This is because the cost of an expensive speedboat. For example, one time we hired a team of speed boat from Kota Bangun, located in the beach toward the village Dasaq Mahakam is located on the banks of the River PAHU extension. Speed boat with 85 power of PK (PK: horsepower. 85 PK roughly equivalent to one-tenth the power of a racing car F1 Ferrari 10-cylinder 248 used in the race Schummy season in 2005) that we rent to cost 1.2 million dollars for the travel time 6 watch. At that time the river conditions are not normal. Appearance of the sky over the river can be estimated that in the upstream was heavy rain. As a result along the way, seen the trunks of trees are washed away by river currents, indicating that the surface of the river was rising. The presence of pieces of wood, making speed boat driver was very careful. Because once one take the point, no doubt dikemudikannya speed boat which will hit the log.

Other transportation is ces. CES is the outboard motor boat. Ces made of wood with varying length, about 6 to 12 meters. And width are usually about 1 meter. On the back of the outboard engine mounted ces that can be installed to pieces. This outboard engine power also varies, generally ranging from 5 to 10 PK. CES into everyday vehicles of residents who live on the riverbank. The curse is usually penuduk ces for travel activities their fields. Ces Agency slim lead he could easily along the small rivers. Even ces are also often used by residents to enter the swamp. In addition to the fields, ces are also usually used for fishing activities, and menangguk catching fish in rivers and swamps. Long boat is another variant of ces with a longer body and engine power is greater.

In addition, there is still a traditional boat with a smaller size and more flat .. These boats usually sail the rivers to paddle as a source of energy. Usually only two men rode by, in front and behind, with each person holding the oars. If ces and long boat made of planks and multifarious connections form other timber so that the glue necessary connection sidelines of wood, the boats are usually made of wood dilobangi whole way, so no connection.

Another type is the pontoon. But these pontoon usually specifically used for transporting timber and goods such as coal mining and other concentrates. Or is also used to transport heavy equipment such as tractors to the needs of timber and mining companies from the city to the countryside

In daily living are familiar with the river and water transportation, then the residents to develop strategies in their lives. Because the topography is generally flat Kalimantan until almost flat (flat - almost flat), then the distribution pattern of the developing world is that the distribution pattern was berstadia adults - parents. This is marked by rivers had formed mender-meander (bend-bend in the river that exceed half lamda sinusoidal graph), the bend-bend in the river is usually inhabitants made canals. This canal to shorten the distance, since ces-ces they do not have to turn to follow a bend-bend in the river, but just take a piece of artificial channel cut in the neck bend. This strategy can shorten the distance that must be taken along dozens of miles.

One thing that worries many people is pendangkalan river. Surface of the river continues to shrink, and very drastically in the dry season, in recent years. Natural activity in the form of sedimentation along the watershed is also contributing role for pendangkalan river. Decrease in river water level is certainly closely related to the rate of deforestation in the jungles of Borneo. The decline of big trees causing the catchment area can no longer store water for a long time. Thus, if it rains, water flows directly into rivers. In addition, deforestation also causes weathering and erosion take place intense. This causes increased contribution of sediment material into the rivers. Pendangkalan river bottom is often caused the ship caught on the river floor. If this happens, then wait for a tugboat or a flood came, really become a boring job.