One Man Stops Drought And Brings Fortune to Village By Planting 11,000 Trees Over 24 Years
By Elias Marat
In the rural countryside of Indonesia, one elderly man is taking it upon himself to rehabilitate a landscape ravaged by mismanagement.
Indonesian land defender Sadiman was once viewed suspiciously as a madman by his fellow villagers in the hilltops of Central Java, but the man is now lovingly referred to as “mbah” or “grandfather” by locals after his 24-year quest to turn the barren hills into a verdant landscape.
The region was ruined after land-clearance fires denuded the region and nearly turned its rivers, streams and lakes dry, inspiring the elderly eco-warrior to take it upon himself to cover the area in trees.
“I thought to myself, if I don’t plant banyan trees, this area would become dry,” Sadiman told Reuters while clad in his ranger hat and safari shirt.
“In my experience, banyan trees and ficus trees can store a lot of water.”
So far, Sadiman has planted over 11,000 banyan and ficus trees across the 617-acre region in a bid to keep groundwater in the area and prevent the further erosion of precious land.
His efforts have already bore fruit, literally, with springs being left in his wake in what had previously been drought-stricken land. Locals now have access to water for their homes and for their agricultural plots of land.
Superstitious villagers had originally been less than appreciative of his work.
“People ridiculed me for bringing banyan tree seeds to the village, because they felt uneasy as they believed there are spirits in these trees,” Sadiman said.
Rumors even spread that Sadiman was a lunatic because he bartered saplings for goats, according to neighboring villager Warto.
“In the past people thought he was crazy, but look at the result now,” Warto added. “He is able to provide clean water to meet the needs of the people in several villages.”
Sadiman is proud that his work has brought prosperity and abundance to his neighbors, who now enjoy two or three harvests per year rather than just one.
I hope the people here can have prosperous lives and live happily. And don’t burn the forest over and over again,” Sadiman said.
Source: The Mind Unleashed