Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wasior Before the Flood

Wasior is the capital of Wondama Bay Regency. This was a small transit town for foreign travelers who want to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in the coral reef of the National Park of Cendrawasih Bay. Well, during the Dutch colonial period, the bay had been called Geelvink bay. The recent flood that hit Wasior greatly changed the town and affect the whole population in the regency.
Two weeks before the disaster, two Dutch tourists visited the islands around the Wondama regency by boat. They were Pieter Wieringa and his wife. They took a lot of photographs of the tropical islands in the Cendrawasih bay. Before leaving for the Netherlands, they gave me the pictures and asked me to promote Wasior for eco-tourism scheme that is related to marine recreational activities. They gave me the photographs before leaving for the Netherlands. Today it is impossible to arrange boat for snorkeling or diving trip from the harbor of Wasior. PELNI ferry boats or passenger ships still visit Wasior after the flood but I am not sure whether they will continue to serve the town that is now almost empty.
Mud still covers much of the town with hundreds of people have become victims of the flood. If you still plan to visit the bay, you can change your flight plan to Manokwari, the capital city of West Papua province in Indonesia. I know that Susi Air, a domestic airline company in Indonesia provides daily flights from Manokwari to Wasior. I think today they still provide such service due to the increasing demand from the people and the government to distribute supplies to and rescue refugees from the town.  From Manokwari, everything can be arrange for your diving trip in the marine park of Cendrawasih bay. You might not be able to visit Wasior at the moment because the whole town has been crippled by the flood.
As a tourist guide, I suggest that you go to Manokwari or Nabire if you still want to snorkel or scuba dive in the region. Other alternative places for you are Mansinam, Lemon, Raimuti and Kaki islands. They still have beautiful underwater world that is worth exploring.
Through this post I want to express my condolences to all the victims of the October 2010 flood and their relatives. I pray that God will strengthen and bless them through this difficult times. by Charles Roring