TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Haryanto pulled on a steel cable in an attempt to move the sleigh barge that connects Kampung Bayur Sepatan, Kabupaten Tangerang and Sewan, Tangerang City. Sleigh barge is a popular method for local residents to get across the Cisadane River.
However, the long dry season followed by the shrinking of water volume of the Cisadane, moving the sleigh barge requires extra effort and power.
"The pull must be strong, because [the sleigh] is getting heavier, the river's water is dried to the bottom," Haryanto said to Tempo on Monday, August 2019.
Haryanto explained that normally, it would require less effort to move the sleigh, even on full load. "If the water [level] is high, sometimes the sleigh move by itself,' Haryanto added.
Haryanto admitted that he had been struggling for the past two months because of the dried Cisadane River.
Based on Tempo's observation, the water level of Cisadane River starting from under the Pintu Air 1- dam until the norther coast of Tangerang has shrink to the bottom of the river. This condition affects the farms on the Northern part of Tangerang. Many rice fields are experiencing drought and are cracking because it has not been watered for so long. Based on Tempo's observation, rice plants in a number of villages in the Pakuhaji, Mauk, and Sukadiri District are under threat of dying because of the drought.
"The rice plants are small. It only produce flowers, but has no content," said Irin, a 60-years old farmer in Tanjung Anom Village in Mauk District.
Irin added that out of 7,000 square miles of rice fields, 40 percent have been confirmed to experience crop failure due to the drought. "Thank God the remaining 60 percent can be harvested," he said.