TIMBULSLOKO, Indonesia — For Kartimah, traveling to the doctor’s office for her regular checkups is no longer such a simple journey. The trip used to be a short hop by scooter. But now, the elderly woman must take a boat to higher ground before she can begin to travel by land. Today, she wishes for one thing: “A dry road, like before.” Kartimah lives in Timbulsloko, some 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the north coast of Indonesia’s Java Island. Forty years ago, the hamlet was surrounded by rice paddies. But the last of these was submerged by tidal floodwaters in 2016. So were the roads linking the community with other settlements. Many residents, around a third of the hamlet’s 120 families, chose to move away. Those who stayed — because relocation was expensive, they didn’t want to face new uncertainties, or Timbulsloko was their home — have had to adapt to the watery conditions. Residents must wade across slippery submerged roads, sometimes through currents. Image by Nuswanyoto/Mongabay Indonesia. Timbulsloko’s transformation from an agricultural hub into a waterworld of boardwalks and canoes is attributable to several factors. Some, like climate change, which is causing ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise, are beyond residents’ control. Others, like the destruction of mangrove swamps to make way for fish farms, were their own doing. “In the past, this village was very prosperous,” Shobirin, a community leader, told Mongabay Indonesia at his home in Timbulsloko hamlet. “There were many coconut palms. In…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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