Newsletter - November '05

Hospital to be built on Savu

Plans are underway to build Savu's first hospital. The East Nusa Tenggara Health and Medical Department will oversee construction of the facility, which is to be financed by the state. The hospital will be built in Western Savu, on land provided by local property owners.

The Savunese have complained for years about the lack of medical facilities on Savu. Since the nearest hospital is located in Kupang, the sick have to endure a long and uncomfortable journey, when in need of proper medical care. However, occasionally, patients are too sick or their injuries are too severe to be transported. In such cases, local therapists do what they can to ease suffering (e.g. "
Royal descendant survives fall").


Young lives lost to malnutrition

Malnutrition has claimed the lives of eight children in Eastern Sumba, including three Savunese. The tragedy draws attention to the harsh conditions caused by the drought and the government's failure to remedy the situation. The three Savunese children were 18 month old Nia Adoe of Kadumbul, 16 month old Charles Rohi of Patawang and 33 month old Yoshua Padji of Kambaniru.


Scholarships awarded

The State Energy Company of East Nusa Tenggara (PLN) has awarded 5 million rupiah (425 euro) to two senior high school students, in recognition of their high academic standard. The proud recipients are Paskah Paty of Eastern Hawoe Senior High School and Miklon Adu of Western Hawoe Senior High School.


Ferry transport to Savu may be cancelled

A ferry service connecting Kupang and Savu may be cancelled because it is not supposed to serve this route. Several authorities have complained that the KM (ferry) named Pulau Sabu (Savu Island) is only supposed to serve the route between Teluk Gurita and Kisar. The transport company has complained that they will face financial difficulties if the Kupang-Savu route is cancelled. The service has always been helpful for Savunese.

Pulau Sabu


Assault in Kupang

Six men assaulted a Savunese man in Kupang last month. The incident took place at an eating house in the sub village of Liliba. According to the owner of Warung Restu Ibu, the six men had been drinking when a young woman entered the premises, causing a hullaballoo. However, the atmosphere changed dramatically when twenty four year old Jefry Leba glanced across at the woman. Suddenly, their attention shifted to the young man, who so infuriated the group that they attacked him. Jefry tried to defend himself, however the onslaught was relentless. Jefry was rushed to Bhayangkara Army Hospital (together with one of the six defendants), bathed in blood and losing consciousness, having sustained multiple head injuries. He was discharged from hospital and immediately reported the incident to the police. However, he subsequently withdrew his complaint, accepting instead the defendants offer to settle out of court. According to Mr Agus Nugroho, of Kupang Police, even though Jefry has withdrawn the allegations, the men will still be charged over the offence. Jefry is currently studing at one of the universities in Kupang.


One year sentence for friend's death

An adjutant of Kupang Police, Brigadier Wilson Ana Meha has been sentenced to 1 year's imprisonment for negligence leading to the accidental death of his close friend and cousin, Rizal Rotu Ludji of Hawu Dimu. The tragedy occured while the two men were watching TV together. Wilson had been cleaning his gun when it suddenly went off, hitting Rizal in the head. Four witnesses, including one of the deceased's relatives, Mr Wilem Rotu Ludji, corroborated Wilson's defence, even though they were outside the house when the shot was fired.

> > Accidentally shot dead by best friend.


Medical facilities underfunded

Medical staff on Savu have complained that their salaries do not cover basic living expenses. Their frustration was recently voiced by Mr. Jusuf Lado S.E. (Chief Commisioner of Kupang Regency Legislative Assembly) at a meeting in Kupang, held by the Kupang Regency Health and Medical Department. He said that doctors and nurses might abandon Savu and Rai Jua, if the government fails to provide them with adequate remuneration for the essential service they provide.

Oom Ma D'ila
(Mr Radja Langu)

  The Deputy Chief, Mr. Robinson Radja Langu, from Eastern Savu, urged the government to ensure that all clinics on Savu and Rai Jua are stocked with medicine so the sick can be treated. Every year, outbreaks of diarrhoea and malaria strike the Savu Islands, which are among the worst effected in the province. The problem is due to a number of factors including, drought, meager food stocks, widespread poverty, illiteracy and the lack of health services. The head of the Kupang Regency Health and Medical Department, Dr. Herman Man, has requested all clinics on the Savu Islands to report on the situation.


Compensation cards unfairly distributed

Compensation cards are now being distributed throughout Indonesia to help underprivileged families cope with the increasing cost of living. However, many Savu Islanders who meet the criteria have not been included in the scheme. A large number of people in Dimu alone have yet to receive the cards while many more claim to have not even been considered poor, even single mothers without a place of their own to live. So far, compensation cards have only been given to a few people in Lii Ae (Liae) and Dimu (Eastern Savu) sub districts. The head of the Central Bureau of Statistics in Kupang, Mr Mathen Kale, explained that compensation cards will not be given all at once, since deliveries must be made from house to house to avoid deception by people who are able to support themselves. The scheme has had a mixed response. Some poor people in the Kupang Region consider the compensation cards to be an insult because they do not like to be classed as poor. Others see the compensation cards as a simple reminder of how the government continues to fail in their duty to build a prosperous nation free of corrupt leaders.


Sisters fall to their death

Two teenage sisters were killed when they fell into a well in the family's back yard. The girls had been watching their father playing rummy with his friends, when they decided to climb up and sit on top of the well, which had recently been cemented and was reported safe. Seventeen year old Anastasia had been sitting on the edge of the well when her younger sister, 14 year old Bergita, climbed up and sat on the timber beside her. Suddenly the timber gave way beneath Bergita and she called for her sister's help saying "Sis, help me". Anastasia reached for Bergita and their father quickly reached for Anastasia. But, it was too late. Both girls fell to the bottom of the well 13 metres below. Their mother witnessed the tragic event from the kitchen and could only howl histerically as two local men, Gerardus and Victor, jumped straight into the well after the girls. Anastasia had died instantly while her younger sister Bergita was still breathing. The sisters were taken to Kupang Public Hospital, where Bergita also passed away.

Johanes (John) Lede Bulu and his wife Blandina Here-Lede live in the sub village of Sikumana in Kupang. The family are Savunese who's ancestors migrated to West Sumba, so they are known locally as Sumbanese. John described his two beloved daughters as being very helpful, diligent and loving. They had even helped him dig the well. He said that he was going to miss them so much and will miss the time he took them to and from school. He had no words to describe the pain he was feeling. He said that he couldn't recall any sign that something bad was going to happen. "I had a dream on Friday night. It was about an unrecognised person, who was rolling a banana trunk. At first, I didn't know what the person was rolling, but later saw that it was only a banana trunk. But, I didn't have any odd feeling about anything and suspected nothing of the dream." John said, trying to remain strong.

Anastasia Nida Lede & Bergita Wini Lede were born on the same date, April 28th. Their funeral was held at the Sikumana public cemetary on the afternoon of Monday, November 7th. Their mother was reported to be constantly losing consciousnes during the ceremony. Their eldest child Frederik Lede was constantly by his mother's side ever since the death of his two sisters. The funeral was crowded with relatives and friends of the family as well as class mates of the sisters. Anastasia attended first year at Senior High School, while her sister Bergita attended first year at Junior High School.


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