Bangli struggles to eradicate poverty

As the poorest area in Bali, Bangli is still struggling to catch up with other, more developed, regencies. According to the provincial administration, the poverty rate in the regency located in the center of the island stands at 5.6 percent, much higher than the provincial poverty rate of 3.9 percent. Bangli has been prioritized by the provincial administration in terms of its poverty eradication programs, alongside three other regencies: Karangasem, Buleleng and Klungkung.

To synchronize development programs between the provincial administration and the regency, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika and Deputy Governor Ketut Sudikerta visited the regency late last week and held a special meeting with the regent. “Bangli contributes a high rate of poverty in Bali, and it is a huge task for the provincial administration to improve its poverty eradication efforts,” Pastika said. Bangli Regent I Made Gianyar claimed that his administration had been working very hard to accelerate development in the regency that continued to lag behind.

With its limited budget and human resources, the regency was hobbling to catch up with others, he said. “We need to synchronize our perceptions, to ensure that the programs of the provincial administration and the regency do not overlap, and that the crucial issues remain the priorities,” Pastika said. He asked the Bangli regent to specify the needs to be incorporated in the allocation of the provincial budget before March.

To accelerate poverty eradication, the provincial administration will allow Bangli to propose additional funding and facilities under Simantri (integrated farming system) and Gerbangsadu (integrated village development program), in an effort to enhance the livelihoods of people in the underprivileged regency. The governor also asked the regency to work harder to increase its revenue, not only relying on its agriculture and plantation sector, but also developing its tourism potential.

“Tourism should be developed here, but it doesn’t mean that agriculture should be neglected. There should be synergy between tourism and agriculture.” Gianyar said the regency’s development programs had been matched with those of the provincial administration. “Bangli has continued to implement the Bali Mandara programs, to complement our own programs that prioritize the people’s interests,” he said.

Bali Mandara programs are Pastika’s pet projects designed to eradicate poverty on the resort island. They include the Bali Mandara health insurance (JKBM) free and universal health care, Bedah Rumah house renovation for the underprivileged, Simantri organic farming and alternative energy, and Gerbangsadu — Rp 1.02 billion (US$83,225) cash assistance for any village willing to establish community-based economic enterprises.

source : bali daily

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