Loading...
The People of Bukit Lawang
Now Watching
The People of Bukit Lawang
Next Suggested Video
Indonesian Civil Society

In 2003, a devastating flash flood caused over 239 deaths in the Indonesian village of Bukit Lawang. The deluge was attributed to illegal logging in the surrounding Gunung Leuser National Park. Since the floods, the local community has begun to organize patrols of the forest in an attempt to curb illegal logging.

Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...

Directed by Paul Redman.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

TITLE
The People of Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia
TITLE
What causes their pain and suffering?
RAHMAD NASUTION [Ranger and Guide]
We saw straight away when I tried to save my child ... who was to know?
TITLE
On the 2nd November 2003, the village of Bukit Lawang was devastated by flooding.
TITLE
In 15 minutes, 239 people lost their lives.
TITLE
Why did this happen?
TITLE
The village borders a protected National Park: Gunung Leuser.
TITLE
A unique natural ecosystem filled with highly valued timber.
EVA SARIFA [Restaurant Owner]
It was different to the normal flooding. My husband said you must go out with the children. Then in the next 10 minutes I saw my husband swept away with the house.
RAHMAD NASUTION
Over the next two days I found out more: my sister, my mother- and father-in-law, and my wife. They provided brightness. They will stay with me until my days end. I will never forget.
TITLE
To those on the ground the cause of the flood was clear.
EVA SARIFA
In my opinion, from what I saw, it was caused by illegal logging in the forest. Because there were so many cut logs; very few were with roots. Almost all the logs were neatly cut, and they destroyed everything.
TITLE
The community now faces the challenge of rebuilding their lives and starting again.
DEDI [Storekeeper]
In the village there are around 200 households which are entirely dependent on ecotourism. The merchants, traders, and tour guides suffered as a result of the flood. Everybody was affected when Bukit Lawang was destroyed.
TITLE
Tourists are beginning to return to Bukit Lawang to visit the National Park.
TITLE
Despite this the park continues to be ransacked by illegal logging.
TITLE
But with the guidance of local NGOs the community is fighting back.
TITLE
Local villages have formed volunteer park ranger units to help patrol the forest
PONIDI [Penampean Village Ranger]
I see with my own eyes that we have illegal logging and timber stealing, and this angers the rangers. So now the rangers patrol the forest and the loggers go away. However, the rangers are all volunteers, so we cannot monitor the forest all of the time, because we all have other jobs to fulfill our daily needs.
DIDI [YLL]
We hope ecotourism will help develop a new consciousness here. This is not a new consciousness, but a deeper one: one in order to protect Gunung Leuser National Park.
RAHMAD NASUTION
So the causes of the violent flooding have been studied by everyone and we are ready now to protect our environment even if we have to do it alone.