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Indonesian slum takes reservations through Airbnb

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 This small Jakarta slum is being touted as an alternative and authentic vacation destination. (Airbnb)

A small village in Jakarta, Indonesia is currently taking reservations through the accommodation website Airbnb in an attempt to raise money for local residents, and help repair the area from floods that cause significant damage every year.

The village, nicknamed "Banana Republic" for its location in the middle of a banana plantation, is said to be "as authentic as it gets" in the Airbnb listing.

For just $11 a night, guests can stay in the hut of a local family and help locals run their small recycling business during the day.

"Their homes, like their lives, are interconnected with one another, creating a sense of community you won't find in any hotel," reads the ad, written by an Airbnb user named Jeremy. "Your room is cosy and simple. A mattress, a fan and if you're lucky, the children will share their toys with you."

 "This type of accommodation may not be your cup of tea," reads the listing, "but by renting this space, you give [locals] a much needed boost of income that will eventually help ease their worries." (Airbnb)

Photos reveal the extent of flooding damage in the area, with captions like "when it floods, it floods" and "the flooding stays for days at a time."

Rusty tin roofs in need of repair are highlighted alongside photos of dank toilets, communal shower huts and tiny bedrooms. Mattresses lie on floors next to planks of graffiti-spattered plywood and roosters watch carefully over patrons while they shower.

By looking at the pictures, you'll see that this is a back-to-basics, get-your-hands-dirty sort of place," writes Jeremy. "You're not going to be served iced tea while you watch the sun set or be given a massage just before your three-course dinner."

Airbnb typically rents out hostel spaces and comfortable rooms in popular tourist destinations for people on vacation.

"In what is quite possibly one of the most creative ways we've seen Airbnb being used, a slum in Jakarta is now advertising beds for the night in a bid to raise cash and awareness of its annual flooding problems," writes The Next Web's Ben Woods. "In order to strengthen their defences from this aqueous invasion, the Banana Republic needs cash. This is where you come in."

Only one review appears under the listing so far, from a woman named Lisa who decided to donate the cost of one night's stay without actually travelling to Indonesia.

"I wanted to help Jeremy and the village by booking a room in absentia  that is, I booked and paid for the room but did not stay there. This enabled Jeremy and the team to receive my contribution directly and for me to help publicize their cause," she wrote. "What a wonderful way to help this village upgrade themselves from the devastation of flooding! :-)"

 Heavy rains in December cause the river that surrounds the village to overflow, leading to floods. (Airbnb)

Would you be interested in staying in less-than-ideal conditions to help out a community in need? Weigh in below.

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