Makassar is a functional port rather than a tourist destination. It is big, dirty and noisy, but has a certain charm about it – a real Indonesian city, rather than a beautified spot for visitors. Most tourists pass through on their way to Toraja or further north, perhaps spending a day looking at Fort Rotterdam, wandering along Pantai Losari and eating the fantastic seafood available everywhere. But the rest of the city remains free of ‘Bule’ – western tourists. Particularly areas such as Tallo…
Tallo is located next to the busy harbour at Paotere and is one of Makassar’s poorest districts. Most of the families that live here are involved in the fishing business – buying from fishermen then selling in the Pasar Ikan, rather than actually fishing – and live in a cliched maze of alleys, drains and narrow streets. The whole area is low-lying and after heavy rain – as I’ve seen a lot of over the last two weeks – the streets flood and houses leak, miserable conditions for the families that have to carry on their daily lives no matter the conditions. Diseases are common and many of the children suffer from skin conditions and a general malaise during the wet season – normally left untreated, or if serious, with a visit by the local traditional doctor.
My main job here in Makassar is to build up a bank of images that can be used by community groups in Tallo and other areas, to help them promote their work and show exactly what conditions are like. The images will be used on new websites, and for funding applications and reports, and will hopefully mean that areas like Tallo finally gets the money it needs so desperately for a proper drainage system.
Children wading through a flooded street to deliver drinking water to a home, Tallo, Makassar, Indonesia. All drinking water must be carried into Tallo and because of the narrow streets, carts are the only effective way to do this.
School girls using stepping-stones on a flooded street, Tallo, Makassar, Indonesia. Much of Tallo is flooded during the wet season and plank walkways and stepping stones are the only way to avoid wading through the water.