Gov’t to Rehabilitate Batak Traditional Houses to Support Tourism Development
Date 31 Juli 2019
In order to support tourism development in villages near Lake Toba, the Government through Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing will rehabilitate a number of ‘Ruma Gorga’, traditional Batak Samosir houses that are old and in bad condition.
“We will rehabilitate around 40 houses as a response to the hope of local people to develop the village into one of tourist destination spots in Samosir,” Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono said after accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and First Lady Ibu Iriana in a visit to a Batak Samosir traditional village and center for woven cloth (ulos), in Kampung Huta Raja, Lumban Suhi-Suhi Toruan Village, Samosir Regency, North Sumatra Province, Tuesday (30/7).
The Minister expressed belief that developing basic infrastructure including sanitation in the village can increase the number of tourists.
In the meantime, the Ministry’s Director General of Human Settlements Danis H.Sumadilaga said that the rehabilitation to ‘Ruma Gorga’ as a cultural heritage will hire local workers so that they can continue to preserve their tradition and craftsmanship.
“The houses which have been remodeled into modern houses will be relocated and revitalized back into ‘Ruma Gorga’. We will involve local residents since it takes special craftsmanship to do it. It will be a collaboration between modern construction and local wisdom,” Danis added.
He explained that after being rehabilitated, the houses will be used as homestays for tourists to boost the economy in the region. “We will plan on the budget which is estimated at around Rp15-20 billion,” he said.
The plan to rehabilitate Batak Samosir traditional houses received a great response from the locals since the houses are an ancestral heritage which have been standing for hundreds of years and have longstanding value for the local people.
“We hope these traditional houses can be rehabilitated. In addition, we also expect outhouse toilets can be constructed so that the tourists would no longer have to ask help from local residents to use a toilet. Hopefully, this village can be developed into a world-class tourist spot,” Lasmauli Simarmata (67), a local resident, said. (DNA/JAY/BKP Kementerian PUPR/ES)
Translated by : Rany Anjany Subachrum
Edited by : Mia Medyana Bonaedy