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Meri-Rastilantie 3 B, FI-00980 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment Vol.15 (3&4): 123-129. 2017 www.world-food.net
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The land biophysical degradation and community traumatic condition due to the periodic
flooding in Miu Watershed Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Ramlan1*, Saiful Darman1, Muhammad Nur Ali 2, Muhammad Basir-Cyio 1, Mahfudz 1, Alam Anshary 1,
Muhammad Rusydi 3, Golar 4, Juliana Mohamed 5 and Muhammad Rizal Razman 5*
1
Department of Agroecotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tadulako University, Jalan Soekarno-Hatta Km 09 Palu 94118,
Indonesia.2 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Tadulako University, Jalan Soekarno-Hatta Km 09
Palu 94118, Indonesia. 3 Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Tadulako University, Jalan
Soekarno-Hatta Km 09 Palu 94118 Indonesia. 4Department Forestry, Faculty of Forestry, Tadulako University, Jalan Soekarno-
Hatta Km 09 Palu 94118, Indonesia.5Research Centre for Sustainability Science and Governance (SGK), Institute for Environment
and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.
*e-mail:iss_palu@yahoo.com

Received 10 June 2017, accepted 7 September 2017.

Abstract
Human activities that do not heed the rules of the land can cause environmental damage that affects the occurrence of floods and landslides. This study
aimed to analyze the biophysical degradation and trauma condition of the community due to flooding in the Miu Watershed. This research was carried
out in Miu Watershed as a part of Palu Watershed in Central Sulawesi province. Number of land units as the sample of land degradation measurement
was 76 units of land. The research variables were land degradation with parameter (prediction of erosion rate, potential erosion, actual erosion, erosion
hazard level, slope classes in Miu Watershed), material losses (Rupiah) and trauma during flood. The data analysis was quantitative-descriptive
analysis on each research variable obtained from the data collecting. Land degradation is indicated by land cover condition which dominantly
undergone by secondary forest of about 67.47% of the total area of Miu Watershed. Critical land reached 3.87% of the Miu Watershed area. Actual
erosion rate in 76 units of land with severe category was 35.27% and very severe was 11.41%. The land degradation in Miu Watershed with (moderate
- severe) erosion rate was about 78.44% of the Miu Watershed area. Flood that occurs every year causes the respondents to experience high material
losses of about Rp 995,760,000 and 34.9% suffered losses> Rp 5,000,000. The psychosocial aspect consisting 7 objects has triggered the traumatic
impact of the respondents due to frequent flooding. The Miu Watershed is degraded and aggravated by the disruption of function in the ecosystem
of protected forest area (PF) and limited production forest (LPF) so that the water management and conservation areas are not optimal, resulting in
frequent floods and landslides during the rainy season. Flood that occurs every year creates material losses and triggers trauma impacts on the
communities in the watershed area of Miu.

Key words: Degradation of Miu Watershed area, flush flood, material loss, trauma.

Introduction
High population growth requires the provision of land for Kamarora villages resulting in massive erosion. Soil erosion arises
settlement36, 38, 41 and business land/employment 1, 2,. Due to the as a result of land use that ignores soil conservation principles 6.
lack of employment development outside agriculture, the orientation As land use changes 33 in upper watershed areas, previously
of rural communities to meet their needs 43, 46 by no other way than dominated by forests, are now transformed into horticultural
to open new agricultural land 3, 40. The land use that is closely crops with seasonal crops such as potatoes, carrots that require
related to human activities 35, 44 causes the balance of the watershed a short time to harvest 7, 45.
ecosystem disturbed 4, 34. Changes in the land use will have an Hydrometeorology disaster is the most dominant disaster in
impact on the ecological 42, spatial, social 37, economic and Indonesia such as flood, landslide, and tornado with 95%
environmental 39 characteristics 5 of the watershed. The conversion percentage. The disaster incidents were 1,681 resulted in 259
of forests is quite high in the Miu Watershed of Central Sulawesi deaths, 1.23 million evacuated, 25,192 houses damaged (5,180
Province done by the community for agricultural cultivation and heavily damaged, 3,760 moderately damaged, 16,252 lightly
other uses. This condition is proven when part of Lore Lindu damaged), 498 units of damaged public facilities 8. The annual
National Park (LLNP) in 2004 to 2016, especially at Palolo Sub- flash floods around Central Sulawesi Watershed causes deaths,
district, which was intended for Lore Lindu National Park area, physical injuries, permanent disabilities, lost homes, crop failures,
was encroached by the community and they changed it into and even trauma experienced by the community. The intensity
residential and agricultural area, consequently the flush flood and severity of the flood have a positive correlation with trauma.
occurred and washed away the home and permanent bridge in A number of previous studies have shown that there is a

Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.15 (3&4), July-October 2017 123
correlation between flood occurrence and trauma experienced by Land unit: The number of land units as the sample of the land
the community 9, 10. Prolonged trauma besides affecting the health degradation measurement was 76 units of land spread over three
level also for a certain period of time can decrease the productivity sub-districts of Sigi District, namely Gumbasa Sub-district, Palolo
of the community. Flooding caused by natural factors and Sub-district, and Kulawi Sub-district. The technique of determining
aggravated by human activity 47,48 factors is one of the dangers the sample was done by overlapping several maps to obtain the
which threaten the society 11. Damage to biophysical and location of the sample or unit of land. The sample taken includes
hydrological conditions of watershed as a result of uncontrolled the intact soil by using the sample ring, and each sample point is
expansion of cultivated land and residential areas, regardless of represented by two to three observations, composite soil that
soil and water conservation principles often become the cause of mixed the soil from each solum’s thickness and recorded some
increased erosion and sedimentation, decreased land productivity, natural phenomena contained at the location of the sample point.
acceleration of land degradation 49, and flooding 12. Land use
activities in the Miu Watershed area expected to have major Respondents: The number of respondents was determined by
negative impacts are clearing of forest land for dry land farming, purposive sampling. The populations were the villagers’ where
shifting cultivation, illegal logging, and cultivation of agricultural Miu Watershed is administratively located in three subdistricts
land that does not apply soil and water conservation techniques. namely Gumbasa, Palola, and Kulawi, as many as 300 villagers,
The types of impacts that these activities will cause are soil erosion, but the completed were only 212 villagers.
sedimentation, landslides, floods and droughts.This paper focuses
on land degradation, especially the biophysics in the Miu Data collection on land degradation: Measurements of the land
Watershed area of Central Sulawesi and the psychosocial impacts degradation using several parameters are shown below:
on the community around the Miu Watershed, namely material
loss and natural trauma. The results of this study are expected to Material losses (Rupiah) and trauma during flood: Material loss
be the basis of government consideration in planning as a guide is calculated by estimating the loss suffered by respondents
for people who will perform activities in the Miu Watershed area caused by floods in their area using questionnaires and lists of
to keep considering the rules of the environment. lost property converted in rupiah. Estimated loss of material is
grouped into 3 categories: <Rp 5,000,000, Rp 5,000,000 - Rp
Methods 10,000,000 and > Rp 10,000,000. The traumatic condition of the
Study area: This research was carried out in Miu Watershed as a community in this study is a description of the psychosocial state
part of Palu Watershed in Central Sulawesi province . The area in response to the experience of frequent flooding. The concept
consists of 65,247.88 ha which divided into two regions. The first used refers to the seven most undesirable objects that occur,
region is located inside the Lore Lindu National Park, which namely 1) loss of main work, 2) loss of income, 3) food shortage, 4)
accounted around 22,680.83 ha. The second region is located disconnection of food supplies, 5) disconnection of commodity
outside the Lore Lindu National Park, which accounted around merchandise, 6) property loss, and 7) loss of life. Meanwhile the
42,567.05 ha. Miu Watershed is administratively located in three traumatic concept used according to the degree of traumatic are16,
subdistricts namely Gumbasa, Palola and Kulawi. ranging from the lowest response: 1) blocking, 2) deadlock, 3)

1) Erosion Rate Prediction Value (A).


Factors affecting erosion are erosivity, erodibility, slope length and steepness, vegetation, and soil conservation
measures13.
To predict (presume) the amount of soil loss due to erosion, the USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) equation is
used, as follows14.
................................................................(1)
Information :
A = The amount of land loss per unit of land area (ton/ha/year)
R =The rainfall erosivity factor
K =Soil erodibility factor
LS =Slope length and steepness
C =Vegetation factor
P =Soil conservation measures factor
2) Tolerable soil erosion value (T)
Determining tolerable soil erosion value (T)should consider: the thickness of topsoil, soil physical properties, prevention of
gutters, decreased organic matter and nutrient loss.
The T value in Indonesia based on the equivalent depth and sustainability of the soil is15:

.........................................(2)

3) Predictions of Actual Erosion and Potential Erosion


The parametric model for predicting erosion occurring in a plot of land is modifying the USLE model13;
................................................................. (3)
Information :
AP= Land loss per unit of land area (ton/ha/year)
R=Rainfall erosivity factor
K=Soil erodibility factor
LS= Slope length and steepness
4) Rate of Erosion Hazard (REH)
Rate of erosion hazard (REH) can be determined using the erosion hazard category matrix, which is a combination
matrix between the estimated annual soil erosion rate and the soil solum depth level14.

124 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.15 (3&4), July-October 2017
anxiety, 4) stress, and 5) phobias. These psychosocial experiences 20,500.60 ha (31.42%), severe with an area of 23,017.05 ha (35.27%),
are aversive and persistent so that each time it is related to the and very severe with an area of 7,444.32 ha (11.41%) ranging from
flood issue as stimulus; the subject is connected to those seven 850 to 2,699,370 ton/ha/year and was above the tolerable erosion
objects with very situational responses conceived as levels or value (T), where, obtained tolerable erosion ranges from 13,9 to
traumatic degrees. Observation and symptom measurements used 30,615 ton/ha/yr. The high level of erosion in the 76 units of this
questionnaires adapted from the classification of disorders land was influenced by the five factors which are mutually offset
according to the American Psychology Association (APA) with in determining the rate of erosion that occurred.
DSM-IVR diagnostic techniques 17, especially the Axis IV on
Psychosocial and Environmental. The data collection Table 1. Predicted value of Miu Watershed
questionnaire used was designed to be a selective combination erosion rate (76 units of land).
between the relevant Axis IV and the empirical situation in the Parameter Min Max
field measured. R 349,281 745,838
K 109 582
Data analysis: Data analysis is a quantitative-descriptive analysis
LS 1,675 43,934
on each research variable obtained from the data collecting. PE (ton/ha/year) 87,101 17,188,000
CP 0.010 0.200
Results AE (ton/ha/year) 850 2,699,370
Slope classes in Miu Watershed: Land degradation is indicated R = The rainfall erosivity factor, K= Soil erodibility factor, LS = Slope
length and steepness, PE = Potential erosion, AE = Actual erosion, CP =
by land cover condition which dominantly undergone by Conservation factor.
secondary forest of about 67.47% of the total area of Miu
Watershed. Besides that, open space area is accelerated by other Erosion hazard level: Table 2 shows that the Miu Watershed
land use and open space design plan area. Land degradation is was generally experiencing land degradation, as indicated by the
also due to natural condition of the slope level ranging from gentle values of parameters such as the predicted rate of soil erosion of
slope up to very steep slope, soil type which dominantly about 850 – 2,699,370 tons/ha/year with medium to very severe
composed from cambisol and podzolic soil, and high annual category of erosion hazard level about 78.44% of the Miu
average rainfall along the year. Cambisol and podzolic soil are Watershed area.
regarded as vulnerable to erosion.
Table 2. Erosion hazard level.
Location of flood and landslide sources: Protected Forest Area No. Erosion Area
(PFA) ecosystems in the Miu Watershed of Walantana, Bulubete hazard level Wide (ha) %
and Bangga Villages, Limited Production Forest (LPF) in Winatu 1 Light 14,286.02 21.89
Village, and Lore Lindu National Park (LLNP) in Bolapapo Village, 2 Medium 20,504.60 31.42
3 Severe 23,017.04 35.60
Sungku, have been malfunctioning so that their role in water and 4 Very severe 7,450.22 11.42
regional conservation (PFA and LLNP) and timber production (LPF) Total 65,247.88 100
are not optimal. As a result, frequent floods and landslides during
rainy season occur, accompanied by high sediment load.
Characteristics of respondents: Table 3 shows that most of the
Critical land: Critical land included in the Land Mapping Unit respondents of this research were women, equal to 59.9% with
(LMU) is selected as severe critical land class (SK) and critical the education level of the respondents in general: elementary
land class (K) in total reaching 2,728.63 ha or 3.87% of the total school was 39.6% and not attending school was 33.5%. The
area of Miu Watershed 70,494.50 ha. occupation of most of the respondents was farmers 77.4% and
the marital status was 77.4%.
Erosion and sedimentation: Based on the map of erosion rate, it
is known that between the distributions of critical land with the Table 3. Characteristics of respondents.
distribution of land with very severe erosion (VS) and severe
Characteristic n = 212 %
erosion (S) there is a significant correlation. However, not all levels Genre
of severe erosion are the same as critical land. From the erosion Male 85 40.1
map it is known that there is land in the category rather critical. Female 127 59.9
Thus the land with severe erosion class is more than the land in Education
Not attending school 71 33.5
the critical class. Therefore, the land of Miu Watershed area has Elementary graduate 84 39.6
severe and very severe erosion class which is quite large and is Middle-high graduate 51 24.1
commonly found on dry land farmlands. The extent of eroded Diploma-undergraduate 6 2.8
land on agricultural areas is caused by not being implemented yet Job
the soil and water conservation techniques like terraces, and Farmers 164 77.4
Government employees 8 3.8
surface flow control buildings. Entrepreneur 14 6.6
Other 26 12.3
Erosion rate prediction: Table 1 shows that the actual erosion Marital status
rate of all land units in the Miu Watershed were relatively light Single 48 22.6
Married 164 77.4
with an area of 11,286.02 ha (21.89%), medium with an area of

Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.15 (3&4), July-October 2017 125
Frequency of flooding: This study measured the frequency of land under forested cover (indigenous and plantation forest)
flooding for the last 6 years as shown in Fig. 1. Every year the registered high infiltration, low runoff and low soil loss. Clearing
frequency of flooding is increasing. The worst flood occurred in of forest land into dry land farming areas in those areas cannot be
2014 and 2016, flush flood happened in Kulawi Sub-district that recommended, except to apply soil conservation techniques such
cost five people died and 5 people were treated in hospital, material as bench terraces, strips, cropping, and agro forestry pattern.
losses included 41 houses damaged and 103 houses drown, 1 Land degradation occurring in the Miu Watershed was indicated
mosque, 1 school, 1 Salvation Army church and 1 permanent bridge by the condition of land cover types dominated by secondary
drowned. forests of about 67.470% of the Miu Watershed area, the other
Frequency of Flooding/ Year was sustained by other land uses such as for settlements/ buildings
and the existence of open land that could lead to expansion of
ϰ
Ϯ Ϯ
ϯ
Ϯ open areas (critical land). In addition to land cover conditions,
ϭ
land degradation occurring in the Miu Watershed is naturally
Year 2011 Year 2012 Year 2013 Year 2014 Year 2105 Year 2016
supported by other factors, namely the condition of its slope
class which is dominated by gentle to very steep slope, the type
Figure 1. Frequency of flooding/year in Miu Watershed. of soil conditions dominated by cambisol and podsolic soils that
are rather sensitive and sensitive to erosion events, as well as
Material losses (Rupiah) during flood: Table 4 shows that annual relatively high rainfall conditions that fall evenly throughout the
flooding results in material losses suffered by the communities, year. Those various factors make this area is often flooded. Fig. 1
especially respondents with estimated losses> Rp 10,000,000 as shows the flood that occurred along the Miu River route was not
much as 9.4% and Rp 5,000,000 - 10,000,000 as much as 25.5%. reduced but increased in frequency. It happened because of the
condition of the slope, the soil that is sensitive to erosion, high
Table 4. Material losses (Rupiah) during flood.
rainfall and the increasingly degradation of the land 22 . The
Material losses (Rupiah) n = 212 %
dominant steep slope caused this area can carry wooden materials
Material losses (Rupiah)
< Rp 5,000,000 138 65.1 and large stones when the flood occurs as in 2015. It is due to the
Rp 5,000,000 – 10,000,000 54 25.5 rapid flow of water on very steep slopes, resulting in much material
> Rp 10,000,000 20 9.4 being carried by the flood flow. It is very dangerous in the low
areas of Kulawi Sub-district, which are the path of the Miu River
Trauma during flood: From the psychosocial aspects, 7 objects and where the residents live, from the threat of floods like this.
were identified to trigger the traumatic impact of the respondents This condition has led to flooding because the vegetation on the
due to the frequent flooding experienced. The degree of traumatic surface of the land is not able to suppress the potential erosion
based on the data was 101 (47.6%) of respondents experiencing (PE) generated by the collision of rainfall. The high PE becomes
anxiety on the object of food shortage, 94 (44.3%) on the object of the main stimulus of the surface dispersion process which, if it
property loss, 83 (39.2%) on the object of loss of income, and 73 continues, will stimulate the closure of the pore space 23, 24. The
(34.4%) on the object of food disconnection supply. Furthermore, condition of the closed pore space makes the infiltration process
as many as 77 (36.3) were experienced blocking through the object will decrease 24. Infiltration, runoff and soil loss were largely linked
of the commodity merchandise disconnection, as many as 76 to watershed land use, management conditions, slope steepness
(35.8%) experienced deadlock through the object of losing the and length 21. If it continues and recurs, then biophysical
main job, and the last was 65 (30.7%) respondents suffered from degradation will result in the loss of farmers’ livelihoods due to
phobias due to the flooding through the object of loss of life the damage experienced by the area affected by flush flood25, 26.
(Table 5). The periodic flooding has caused psychosocial disruption in the
Discussion watershed area of Miu. The psychosocial condition described in
The results showed that the medium to very severe level of erosion Table 5 at the time of the research was the persistence of the
hazard was about 78.44% of the Miu Watershed area. The degree flooding and the accumulated flood impact experienced. In other
of erosion hazard was affected by the erosion and the extent of words, the repetitions of events over time can further aggravate
soil erosion that could still be tolerated. The main factor causing the state of the surrounding population through the seven
the high level of erosion hazard in the Miu Watershed was the traumatic objects. For example, the most feared object from the
slopes of land that are categorized as steep - very steep and impact of floods was the loss of life, the highest number of traumatic
relatively shallow effective depth18- 20. Mainuri et al.21 stated that degrees was phobic symptoms, followed by loss of property on

Table 5. Traumatic impacts experienced by respondents due to flooding.


Object Traumatic degree Total
Blocking Deadlock Anxiety Stress Phobia
n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%) N (%)
Loss of main work 57 (26.9) 76 (35.8) 59 (27.8) 12 (5.7) 8 (3.8) 212 (100)
Loss of income 52 (24.5) 50 (23.6) 83(39.2) 15 (7.1) 12 (5.7) 212 (100)
Food shortage 50 (23.6) 50 (23.6) 101 (47.6) 8 (3.8) 3 (1.4) 212 (100)
Disconnection of food supplies 48 (22.6) 51 (24.1) 73 (34.4) 29 (13.7) 1 (0.5) 212 (100)
Disconnection of commodity merchandise 77 (36.3) 69 (32.5) 61 (28.8) 5 (2.4) 0 (0.0) 212 (100)
Property loss 26 (12.3) 31(14.6) 40 (18.9) 94 (44.3) 21 (9.9) 212 (100)
Loss of life 0 (0.0) 36 (17.0) 52 (24.5) 59 (27.8) 65 (30.7) 212 (100)

126 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.15 (3&4), July-October 2017
the degree of traumatic stress. The flood has caused both material Even in hilly and mountainous terrain with steep slopes > 30%,
and nonmaterial losses to the population and has affected these plants are still cultivated, whereas in terms of spatial and
psychosocial stability through the aversion phenomenon to the environmental aspects the land is directed to annual crops or
worst possibility that greatly affects its productivity. conservation forests. Moreover, the highlands which are generally
Economically, farmers will experience losses not only in material in the form of mountains, horticultural crops (vegetables) are
but also psychosocial, either anxiety or fear due to the occurrence cultivated and the land is managed very intensively, without
of flush flood that is sometimes difficult to predict 27, 28. Referring accompanied by the application of conservation technology, so
to the Galea et al.29 study on the impact of natural disasters shows that the high rainfall will spur the erosion and degradation of land
that the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since will be difficult to avoid. This condition has not received much
Hurricane Katrina was 22.5% and the determinants of PTSD were attention, either by the community or the policy makers
female gender, experience of hurricane-related financial loss, (stakeholders). Therefore, an effort to reduce such problems is by
postdisaster stressors, low social support, and postdisaster choosing a conservation-based farming technology that combines
traumatic events. The accumulation of job and income losses as seasonal crops, annual crops and forage in proportion, which can
well as trauma will have long-term and holistic impacts, not only increase farmers’ income as well as keeping the land from
to the farmers and their families who are directly affected but also continuing environmental degradation.
the local people who expect the supply of food, fruits and
vegetables from the biophysically damaged watershed. The study Conclusions
also shows that generally the affected people were women with Miu Watershed has experienced land degradation characterized
low levels of education (not graduated and primary school by actual erosion of 46.68% of the land area, which is classified as
graduates) and whose work as farmers. Hirth’s research 30 severe, and the erosion hazard level reached about 78.44% of the
highlighted that job loss was associated with depressive and Miu Watershed area. This condition is worsened due to land cover
PTSD symptom was not unexpected and furthermore, job loss that dominated by secondary forest about 67.47% from Miu
may be particularly difficult for low-income young women because Watershed area, besides supported by other land use such as for
they often have other concerns, such as responsibility for the settlement/building and the existence of open land which can
caretaking of the children or the elderly. Previous research has cause expansion of open area (critical land), and the rainfall which
shown that the psychological effects of a natural disaster are is relatively high so that the area is often flooded. The findings of
intense and can last for a long time afterwards 31. this research is flood that occurs every year becomes a serious
Land conservation directives are an alternative option that can threat to the community around the Miu Watershed because the
be used in the preservation and conservation efforts by comparing flood has caused the respondents to experience high material
the level of soil erosion hazard with tolerable erosion and the losses of about Rp 995,760.000 and 34.9% of those experiencing
function of possible areas for alternative land management losses > Rp 5,000.000 and trauma with severe category by 10.4%.
considerations (CP alternatives) that can be applied in one region. The land conservation efforts in the area of Miu Watershed is
Conservation and good crop husbandry practices are needed by considering alternative land management by using
recommended as the most effective mitigation measures for land mechanical and vegetative land conservation techniques, with
degradation in the watershed 21. Doocy et al. 32 showed that human the change of CP values by changing the crop management and
vulnerability to floods is increasing, in large part due to population land management in each unit of land, thus reducing the level of
growth, urbanization, land use change, and climatological factors soil surface erosion.
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