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Eco-bricks, a solution to reduce plastic waste

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Amoye Youth Community participates in reducing plastic waste in Nabire – Jubi/Titus Ruban

Nabire, Jubi – It was a lovely Monday noon (April 14th, 2019) when a group of the youth was gathering in the front yard of Bentot Yatipai’s house. Chatting and laughing, these young people, who are members of Amoye Youth Community, were busy cleaning and cutting papers and plastic waste, then putting it into plastic bottles. They were making ‘eco-bricks’.

Amoye Youth Community was established in 2006 to support young people who are passionate about motorbike at that time. As time goes by, the group started to think about their contribution to their environment. So they began to go around cleaning and collecting plastic waste from some particular locations in town, encouraged local people to donate their plastic waste and initiate a recycling program.

This group’s initiative, said Amoye youth community leader Bentot Yatipai, is a response towards insufficient waste management by the local government. “We conduct social activities, environmental awareness and educational campaign. Waste management is our top priority. Total our members now are 200 coming from several motorcycle clubs,” he said.

According to Yatipai, despite the lack of waste management by the local government, people are also so aware of their surroundings. “Our neighbourhood is still messy. People still not aware about hygiene, healthy environment and its prevention. This is why we initiated the recycling program,” said Yatipai.

However, his group does not set a particular schedule of making eco-bricks due to their other activities. The community members could gather at any time, particularly on weekend or holiday.

“Almost every Sunday they come for gathering. They understood their task and already knew what to do. Collecting waste, wash it, cut it and put the cutting plastics into bottles,” he said.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, eco-bricks also have economic value, to produce chairs, tables or photo booths, for example. “We want to start this program by inviting residents to donate plastic waste and separate their garbage,” he said.

“We don’t know the exact number of plastic waste we received, but it is quite a lot, as many people in Nabire collect waste from other residents from other regencies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lukas Mote said he is interested in joining the Amoye Community because he thinks it has a useful contribution to the environment, health and education. “I am interested in joining because it offers many programs and accommodates members for sharing,” said Mote.

As a capital town of Nabire Regency, Nabire is geographically strategic as it becomes an entrance of the central highland area which consisting of many regencies. However, the demographic explosion has led this regency to a problem of waste disposal management.

From 2016 to 2018, it predicted that the town produced 350-400 m3 of waste per day and this number estimated continuously increases. Some locations such as Pasar Karang, Kalibobo and Terminal Oyehe are full of waste and dirty because it uses as the temporary waste terminal (TPS). Furthermore, people do not separate garbage and plastic waste.

A resident Handayani tells she often throws her domestic waste in a temporary disposal site located in the traditional market at night. According to her, Nabire is still dirty. Therefore, she asks the local government of Nabire to stipulate the regional regulation to regulate sanitation.

“If there are regulation and fine, Nabire must be clean and comfortable,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nabire Environment Office does not have a database about daily waste produced. Officers only pick up the garbage from the temporary disposal waste to the waste terminal (TPA)

In regards to this, the secretary of Nabire Environment Office Yohanis Ramandai said the office does not have a tool to estimate how much garbage produced per day. His office is only responsible for managing the garbage, including collecting, transporting and disposing of at the waste terminal.

In 2018, around IDR 100 million has been budgeted for waste management, including the cost for fuel, vehicle maintenance and meals for cleaning service officers. “Meanwhile, for 2019, IDR 1 billion budget has been submitted to regional working plan but not been approved yet,” said Ramandey.

In regards to Amoye Youth Community, Ramadey appreciates their action in reducing plastic waste. “I truly appreciate them. We might invite them to collaborate in reducing waste,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Titus Ruban

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Economy

Indonesia loses Pacific asset in Franzalbert Joku

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Indonesian government consultant on West Papua-related issues, Franz Albert Joku. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Papua, Jubi – Indonesia has lost a significant asset from in its Pacific diplomacy efforts with the recent passing of the West Papuan, Franzalbert Joku.

The prominent Sentani landowner was the international spokesman for the Papua Presidium Council which galvanised momentum in the independence struggle at the turn of the century.

But in his last decade, Mr Joku strongly advocated autonomy for Papua within Indonesia rather than independence. He often represented Indonesia at regional meetings of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Joku, who died at the age of 66 late last month in Jayapura, had fled from Indonesian rule in his homeland as a youth with his family in the early 1970s. For around three decades he lived in various parts of Papua New Guinea where Mr Joku worked as a journalist and a PNG government advisor who developed extensive links in the Pacific.

An expert in Indonesian history and politics, Richard Chauvel of the University of Melbourne, says Mr Joku’s career in PNG was significant.

“His great utility both in the early 2000s (for the Papua Presidium) and post 2007/8 for the Indonesian government has been his intimate knowledge of Papua New Guinea politics, through his role as a journalist and then as a political advisor or spokesman for (former PNG PM) Julius Chan and other senior PNG politicians,” Dr Chauvel said.

“I think it’s that knowledge of local PNG politics, and through networks into the Pacific, that made him such a formidable figure, both initially for the Presidium, in the lobbying of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum, and then subsequently for doing much the same thing, utilising the same skills and knowledge for the Indonesian government,” he explained.

As an effective envoy for Jakarta, Mr Joku had a forthright approach to his diplomacy, as evidenced last year by his instrumental role in pressing the Solomon Islands government to mollify its support for West Papuan self-determination aspirations:

Occupying both extremes of the Papuan political spectrum over time made Franzalbert Joku a polarising figure in the eyes of West Papuans.

“The way he executed those positions was remarkably the same – with great commitment, very articulate, he was obviously a bright guy… you could never accuse him of being nuanced,” Dr Chauvel said.

Dr Chauvel first met Franzalbert Joku when he was lobbying for the Presidium, the organisation which energised the independence struggle as democatic space opened up briefly in post-Suharto Indonesia around the time of the Papua People’s Congress in 2000 in Jayapura.

“He was just as vigorous and forthright in his advocacy of that position as he later became from 2007/8 onwards when he’d clearly joined the other side,” he said.

Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has a number of officials who have led delegations to MSG and Pacific Forum meetings over the past decade.

“They have acquired some of that background knowledge, but I don’t think that they can speak to their counterparts in Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and PNG from the same position as Franzalbert could, as a Pacific Islander,” Dr Chauvel said. (*)

 

Source: RNZI

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Accelerating rescue operations in flood-hit Sentani

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The aftermath of deadly flash flooding in Sentani, Papua. -Jubi/Kristianto Galuwo

Papua, Jubi Indonesia has been hit by at least two major floods during this current transitional period from the rainy to the dry season, as high precipitation still occurs in several regions.

Floods have been reported in the provinces of West Java, East Java, Lampung, East Nusa Tenggara, South Sumatra, and Papua, among others. But East Java and Papua have been the worst hit by major flooding over the last several weeks.

In East Java, on March 5, 2019, floods triggered by heavy rains and the overflowing of several rivers, had inundated 15 districts and displaced nearly 12.5 thousand people, mostly in Madiun. Despite the widespread inundation, there were no reports of casualties.

In Papua, however, deadly flooding devastated Sentani and several other sub-districts in Jayapura District, and killed at least 112 people and rendered 94 others missing on March 16, 2019.

The natural disasters caused serious injuries to 107 people and minor injuries to 808 others.

A total of 374 homes, four bridges, five places of worship, eight school buildings, 104 home-cum-shops, and a traditional market were damaged. Furthermore, the natural disasters led to the displacement of 11,556 people.

The Papua provincial government has declared an emergency response period from March 16 to 29, 2019.

The Government has deployed a joint team comprising military and police personnel, among others, to continue search and rescue operations for the victims of the floods in Jayapura. Tens of NGOs have also volunteered in helping the rescue operations.

“Since yesterday evening, our volunteers have helped carry out evacuation, assessment and mud clearance in Sentani,” ACT coordinator Kusmayadi said in a statement, one day after the disaster occurred.

They also distributed some 1,000 packets of cooked food for the flood victims, and set up an ACT humanitarian command post and a public kitchen in Sentani.

As 94 people were still missing one week after the flooding, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) held a coordination meeting to discuss efforts to expedite the handling of the impact of the flooding in the country’s eastern most province.

“This meeting aims to discuss and identify various issues concerning efforts to speed up handling and support for the rescue operations by the PMI during the emergency response period,” Sunarbowo Sandi, head of the PMI Headquarters, noted on March 23, 2019.

Arifin M. Hadi, head of the Disaster Mitigation Division of the PMI, remarked that the Red Cross had optimized services and endeavors during the rescue operations following the emergency response status.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the central and local PMI officers and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Meanwhile, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), noted in a statement in Jakarta on March 22 that the flooding was triggered by deforestation in the Cycloops area.

“Incessant heavy rains in the Cycloops mountainous area, whose condition had degraded, caused flash floods in Jayapura District and the surrounding areas,” he noted.

The local government in Papua has planned to relocate residents living in the Cycloop nature reserve area in a bid to avoid future flash floods.

Papua’s Governor Lukas Enembe had earlier stated that the residents affected by the natural disasters would be moved to Wamena, Jayapura.

“This plan had been approved by President Joko Widodo. We just have to determine the proper location,” he noted in Jayapura on Thursday.

According to the governor, Papua’s government will discuss building public service facilities, such as hospitals, schools, and housing for the resettled residents.

“This type of disaster has been repeatedly occurring over a period of time, so the residents must be relocated,” he added.

The Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry in Jakarta, on March 19, however, denied that the disaster was caused by deforestation.

There was no illegal logging activity in the Sentani areas, according to IB Putera Parthama, the ministry’s Director General for River Basin Management.

There were no logs floating or swept away by flood waters in the area, he added.

“Branches and roots of the floating trees were intact. It shows that the trees were not a result of the illegal logging activity (suspected of having) caused the flash floods,” he told the press.

Sentani located in the Cycloop mountainous area is prone to flash floods and landslides during heavy rain because the area has a steep slope and an unstable river basin, he said, adding that the flooding was triggered by heavy rains that went on incessantly for six hours.

The forest conversion in Sentani was also not significant, as it covered a total area of 495.47 hectares or 3.3 percent during the 2012-2017 period.

“From 2012 to 2017, the forest area converted into non-forest area reached only 3.3 percent. So, it’s not strong enough to associate the disaster with the forest conversion,” he said.

According to the 2018 data, the forest coverage in the river basin area in Sentani was around 55 percent, meaning it was good enough.

The ministry, however, has sent a task force to investigate the cause of the flash floods, he remarked.

The task force is headed by M Saparis Sudaryanto, the ministry’s Director on Planning and Evaluation of River Basin Management

It will collect data and facts about the floods and landslides in Papua to study them for future solutions.

“I will collect facts as accurately as possible,” Sudaryanto said.

The ministry has also set up an information command post to update information on the flooding situation in Sentani.

Indonesia is prone to geological and hydrometeorological disasters. Last year, during the period from January to mid-December, of the 2,427 natural disasters had hit the tropical country, 2,350, or 96.9 percent, were hydrometeorological in nature, such as floods, landslides, and whirlwinds. (*)

 

Source: Antara

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Papua death toll rises, more than 6000 evacuated after Sentani floods

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The aftermath of deadly flash flooding in Sentani, Papua, 17 March 2019. Photo: Tabloid Jubi

 

Papua, Jubi – The death toll from flash floods in Indonesia’s Papua region has risen to 89.

The aftermath of deadly flash flooding in Sentani, Papua, 17 March 2019.
Over 6000 people have been evacuated from flooded villages after days of heavy rain.

The worst affected parts are in and around Jayapura and villages near Lake Sentani which overflowed, spilling large volumes of water through surrounding areas.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency earlier said over 70 people were killed by landslides in Jayapura regency and others died from floods in Jayapura city.

Along with the dead, 74 others are missing and 159 people have been injured.

More than 11,000 families have been affected by the flash flooding.

People are frightened and some are blaming climate change according to Derek Windessy from Indonesia’s Red Cross.

“Because it is still raining, raining and raining again. Last night still raining and some rivers throw up and flood through in the villages, so it’s hard,” he said.

“Almost three days or four days. People cannot sleep well. And then they scare. So they need to move to the safety place now,” said Derek Windessy.

There are evacuation centres in six locations.

However, finding survivors is the focus for local government, said Mr Windessy, and supplying food and water to evacuees.

He said President Joko Widodo is likely to visit the area tomorrow and denied reports some agencies may have been blocked or prevented from providing aid to those in need.

Mass evacuations and reforestation ordered

Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo has called for the re-planting of forests around the upper reaches of the river which empties into Lake Sentani, which has risen and flooded surrounding villages.

Indonesia’s disaster management agency has attributed the floods to deforestation and encroachment on a nature reserve in the Cyclops Mountains over the past 15 years.

The head of Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency Doni Monardo has blamed the disaster on deforestation for construction, on steep terrain and the intense rainfall.

He said there is no need for people to cut down trees to improve the economy.

A spokesperson, quoted by Indonesia’s Tempo news agency, said the flooding was triggered by extreme rainfall and forest damage.

A month’s worth of normal rain fell in the space of seven hours at the weekend.

More than 2000 hectares of rain catchment area has been cleared for development, the spokesman said.

Dobonsolo, Doyo Baru, and Hinekombe districts in Jayapura’s Sentani region are reported to be the worst affected.

Medical services and public kitchens are treating and supporting the injured and displaced victims.

Local government and the police are clearing away logs, rocks, debris and other materials with heavy equipment.

Seventy kilometres of roads in the Jayapura, Sentani and Kemiri area are covered with mud and fallen trees.

Disaster authorities say hundreds of houses are damaged and some are submerged.

A number of public facilities are also severely damaged including eight schools, three churches and three bridges.

Clean water, food needed after flooding in Papua

Meanwhile, clean water, food and blankets are among pressing needs in the flood affected areas.

At least 68 people had died after heavy rain at the weekend triggered floods and landslides around the provincial capital Jayapura.

Rosemarie North of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said teams had been going out to assess the needs of displaced people and deliver emergency help.

She said medical care, sleeping mats, and hygiene items like soap, towels and toothbrushes are also needed.

She said, Lake Sentani which is 20 kilometres from Jayapura had risen flooding surrounding villages.

The Red Cross said it was a worrying situation for people around the lake and in many other areas because the rain is still falling. (*)

 

 

Source: RNZI

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