My friend Paulus from Duta Wacana Christian University took me to a community in Jogja along the river that his team has been serving for many years. The community is actually below the bridge spanning the river, with an entrance identified it as Kampoeng Code. On some web sites it is referred to as Kampung Kali Cho-de. I don’t know which is the correct name but I will stick with the name I saw on the gate.
Many of the people living there seem to be from the country side and relatively poor. Many of the houses are built in traditional styles using bamboo and timber, and some are quite elegant. There is a a community “hall” where people gather that looks simple but quite pleasant. The community won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992.
I heard that the government wants to move these people away so that they can develop the land. But these people moved here from the country side because life is hard on the farm, perhaps because the land is not fertile enough. If the government drives them away they are just going to find a way to come back to the city, perhaps living in a worse situation. We have seen the same played out in Phnom Penh, at the Buoeng Kak Lake communities.
Some of the people are better off than others. Their houses are well-built, spacious and clean. Some raise ducks and chicken.
Many farm fish - catfish seems to be popular here.
There are also some who collect recyclables such as plastic bottles and paper to make a living. I heard that one can sell paper collected at 500 rupees (~5 cents US) a kilogram, and plastics at 1,500 rupees (~15 cents) a kilogram. For comparison, it costs about 2,000 rupees to park a car. The conditions here, however, are much better than the situation at the slum at Stung Meancheay garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The houses and alleys here are fairly clean and fee of garbage.
The majority here seems to be Muslim. There is a simple mosque in the middle of the community. It is clean and tidy, with separate areas for men and women.