Indonesia: Once Called Crazy, Eco-Warrior Turns Arid Hills Green

Indonesia: Once Called Crazy, Eco-Warrior Turns Arid Hills Green
Image via Reuters

Once considered crazy by fellow villagers, Sadiman, the eco-warrior of Indonesia, has changed barren hills green after 24 years of hard work, making water resources available in the mountainous region prone to drought. With love called ‘Mbah’ or ‘Grandpa,’ this 69-year-old has worked nonstop to plant trees in the Central Java hills after a fire to clean the ground for cultivation almost dried up rivers and lakes.

“I think, if I don’t plant banyan trees, this area will be dry,” said Sadiman, wearing a ranger hat and safari hat, which goes by with one name, like many Indonesians. “In my experience, banyan trees and ficus trees can save a lot of water.”


Long roots and broadly spread from at least 11,000 banyans and ficus trees, Sadiman has planted more than 250 hectares (617 hectares) to help maintain groundwater and prevent soil erosion. Thanks to his efforts, Springs had been formed where there was barren and arid land, water channeled to houses, and used to irrigate agriculture. However, at first, only a handful of villagers appreciated his work.

“People spell me for bringing banyan tree seeds to the village because they feel anxious because they believe there are spirits in these trees,” said Sadiman. Some even thought he was crazy because he exchanged the tillers for the goat he rose, said a villager.

“In the past, people thought he was crazy, but see the results now,” Warto added. ” He added that Sadiman can provide clean water to meet the needs of people in several villages.” Sadiman also funded his work through plant nurseries such as cloves and jackfruit that he could sell or barter.

The lack of rain in the area where he planted trees had limited farmers to one harvest a year, but now, abundant water sources ensure two or three. “I hope people here can have a prosperous life and live happily. And don’t burn over and over again,” Sadiman added, with twinkling in his eyes.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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