The tourism industry has been one of the worst affected by recent events. Gili Trawangan's income is 100% tourism based, and has therefore gone entirely. The island has been locked down for almost 2 months. Nobody is allowed in, and if anybody leaves, they are not allowed to return.
While we look forward to lock down rules easing, realistically, the tourism industry isn’t going to return to normal for a while. Stud Horse Riding Adventures has lost its entire income, and because horses are expensive to keep on the island, there were very little savings to prepare for such a long period without income.
They have survived the crisis so far by turning the horses out during the day for grazing. The staff hand cut grass for them to eat while they are stabled at night. By doing this, they have managed to keep their running costs fairly low. However, their pellet feed is running low, and as we move into dry season, the grass on the island will run out and they will be forced to buy hand cut grass from Lombok, which comes at the cost of around $4 per bag. They have 15 horses at Stud so will need at least 2 bags per day. There are also 2 members of staff who have isolated themselves on the island away from their families to take care of these ponies. I am trying to raise a small salary of around $200 per month to be able to send home to their families.
I am also concerned for the 8 ponies who collect the rubbish on the island. Since the majority of businesses are closed, their income has reduced by more than half. With several staff to pay, there is concern that luxuries like pellet feed may not be affordable. The standard rice powder feed available locally has very little nutrient content if fed alone.
I am trying to raise enough funds to purchase a truck of pellet feed, which will last Stud and the rubbish ponies around 6 months. The balance will be used to purchase cut grass. If there are any additional funds remaining, I will purchase pellet feed for other working ponies on the island and donate it to others who are also struggling.
I appreciate that everyone is struggling at the moment, but these guys have lost their entire income, and with no natural resources on the island, these animals will starve. Any donation is hugely appreciated and will go directly to feeding 23 ponies or more on the island.
Thank you for your time, and we look forward to seeing you all back here soon.
Stay safe and best wishes.
- Natasha Malby
- John Worswick
- Selina Schimpf
- Danielle Eveleigh
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