Locals allege cement factory to cause dusty air pollution – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Locals allege cement factory to cause dusty air pollution

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A resident lives near Maruni cement factory shows his soles of feet, merchandises and furniture covered by the black dust. – Jubi/Personal Doc.

Manokwari, Jubi – Residents of Dobut Village and other surrounding villages in Manokwari Selatan sub-district feel anxious concerning black dust scattered by the wind to their villages. They allege Maruni cement factory to cause this dusty air pollution.

The Village Chief of Dobut Septinus Aibu said hundreds of residents complained to have respiratory problems. Besides inhaling polluted air, the black dust now covers the roof of houses, get in the homes and pollutes everything inside.

“We have respiratory problems. It’s hard to breathe. There is thick dark haze during the day though it’s only the dust blown by the wind,” Septinus Aibu told Jubi in Manokwari on Wednesday (27/11/2019).

He further admitted to reporting his incident to the Provincial Environment and Land Office of West Papua. He hopes this relevant office will promptly follow up this report. However, his response has not yet responded, said Aibu.

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“I have met the official from the Provincial Environment Office, but I found no definitive answer,” he said.

In the meantime, a resident Slamet who lives in a location near Maruni cement factory also has a similar complaint. He said kiosks and food stalls along the road where the cement factory built fully covered of black dust. “Stalls and everything inside fills with dust; even it covers the floor of houses. It’s all full of black dust,” said Slamet.

In responding to this issue, Derek Ampnir, the Head of West Papua Provincial Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), confirmed Jubi by a short message on Wednesday that the agency will immediately address the alleged air pollution. “Where is the location? Okay, we’ll take action,” texted Ampnir.

The black dust incident that allegedly comes out from the manufacturing activity of Maruni cement factory has been viral on social media, including some photographs, showed the black dust. However, until the news is published, both representatives of the cement factory and local government official do not give any comments on this issue. (*)

 

Reporter: Hans Kapisa

Editor: Pipit Maizier

 

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Environment

Raja Ampat’s government says to expel tourist ships for destroying coral reefs

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Panoramic view of Raja Ampat Islands. – Antara / Ernest Broning Kakisina

Waisai, Jubi – The Government of Raja Ampat Regency would drive out tourist ships for not complying local shipping regulations. The Regional Secretary Yusuf Salim affirmed the government’s policy is to address the environmental effects caused by tourist boats that often hit and damage coral reefs.

“This policy is to protect the natural reserve of Raja Ampat. Many operating boats do not pay attention to the rules that destroy the coral reefs,” said Yusuf in a meeting with tourism administrators on Thursday (09/01/2020).

He emphasised that the local government would not tolerate those who cause environmental destruction. Their licence would immediately revoke and no longer allowed to operate in Raja Ampat.

“All tourist ships must obey the rule if they want to continue operating in Raja Ampat. Such particular cruise ships must report their arrival to the regional government and follow relevant local regulations,” said Yusuf in a meeting chaired by Regent Abdul Faris Umlati.

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To prevent coral reefs from damage and destruction, managers of tourist ships required to involve certified local guides. If not, they are not allowed to enter and operate in Raja Ampat.

“It is for ensuring the convenience (and safety) during the tour. The coral reefs’ damages also can be avoided (prevented),” said the Head of Raja Ampat Tourism Office Yusdi Lamatenggo on the same occasion.

Further, Yusdi hopes that tourism operators and local people would report to the Tourism Office if they find any tourism services to not involving certified local guides. His office is ready for taking action on those who violate the rules.

Earlier, Lamima Surabaya, an Indonesian-flagged cruise ship, reportedly hit a coral reef surround Misool Island of Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province. Meanwhile, several Indonesian cruise ships carrying foreign tourists travelling in Misool Island also suspected of not paying tolls to the regional tourism office for entering local tourist destinations.

The Sub-district chief of Misool Selatan Samsul Rumasukun when contacted from Sorong on Tuesday (7/1/2020) confirmed that Lamima Surabaya was transporting foreign tourists before ran aground on the coral reefs surround Banos and Lenmakana waters in Misool Island on 3 January 2020. But the case was not widely known to the public.

He said the ship had continued its tour, but the incident already tackled by the Raja Ampat Police.

Meanwhile, Adrianus Kaiba, the Head of the Regional Public Service Agency for the Tourism Destination of Regional Tourism Office, separately said that every tourist visit Raja Ampat oblige to pay entrance fees in tourist destinations.

According to him, Lamima Surabaya cruise ship, which reportedly ran aground in the tourist destinations between the islands of Banos and Lemakana Misool, has so far not paid entrance fees to the regional tourism office.

At the end of December 2019, the Provincial Government of West Papua appealed for yachts entering its sea territories to involve local tour guides. This appeal issued following the incident of the cruise ship Aqua Blu landed on the coral reefs of Wayag Island.

The Head of Provincial Tourism and Culture Yusak Wabia in Manokwari on Monday (30/12/2019) stated the importance of using local guide services to avoid accidents such as crashing into coral reefs.

He said the local guides were more aware of the geographical condition of their territory, so it would prevent accidents. “Only local people know for certain the geographical conditions and the weather of their sea. They also maintain the coral reefs which are the source of their livelihood,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI) in Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province, Ranny Iriani Tumundo, regretted the incident of Aqua Blu cruise ship crashing on the coral reefs of Wayag Island.

She conveyed that according to the regulations, each cruise ship sailing around the sea of Raja Ampat oblige to notify the local government and meet the administrative requirement before visiting tourist destinations. Also, they require to pay retribution fee for entrance to the local government through the Office of Investment and Integrated Business Services.

“If a cruise ship has done it, then it is legal to travel in Raja Ampat. Also, the cruise ships must obey the shipping lane and involve local people as tour guides to avoid unexpected incidents happen, such as crashing into a coral reef,” she said. (*)

 

Reporter: ANTARA

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Heavy downpour ravages tens of houses in West Papua’s Wasior

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Illustration. -Tempo.co

Wasior, West Papua, Jubi – Heavy, incessant rains lashed Wasior City in Teluk Wondama District, West Papua, Monday afternoon, prompting the Anggris River to overflow and inundate tens of houses and kiosks while damaging buildings, a local government official stated.

“At least 46 houses incurred minor to serious damage owing to the mudflow in the aftermath of the heavy rainfall,” Wasior Sub-district Head Anthonius Alex Marani told ANTARA here on Tuesday.

The 25-cm-thick mud swept across the floors of the houses and damaged all items inside. However, no casualties were reported in the disaster, he noted, adding that Wasior and Wasior II Villages bore the maximum brunt of the overflowing Anggris River.

Several residents of Wasior City admitted to feeling traumatized by the flash floods in 2010 and 2013 that had resulted in the deaths of several hundred people.

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“On Monday evening, we took refuge in Al Fallah Mosque, as we are scared of the flash floods,” Nur Keres, whose house is located on the Anggris River bank, noted.

On Tuesday morning, the waters of Anggris River had receded, and a joint team of local government officials, rescue workers, as well as local police and military personnel joined hands to clean up the houses and areas swept by the mudflow.

The rainy season has triggered flash floods in certain other parts of Indonesia. In Riau, for instance, six people died as flash floods and a landslide hit certain areas in the province, Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BPBD’s) Acting Head Edwar Sanger stated.

The landslide buried two of the dead victims, while four others died due to the flash floods inundating certain areas in the districts of Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi, he remarked at a recent meeting with related authorities.

According to Sanger, the floods inundated the areas of 216 villages in the districts of Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, Indragiri Hulu, and Rokan Hilir, thereby affecting 8,798 houses.

Due to the grave nature of such natural disasters, the district governments of Kampar, Rokan Hulu, Pelalawan, and Indragiri Hulu had issued an emergency alert status in response to the threats of floods and landslides until the end of this year, he remarked.

The Riau provincial administration had also declared an emergency alert status in effect from Dec 20 to Dec 31, 2019.

At least 25,133 families, or some 62,630 people, were affected by the floods and landslide, most of whom are in the districts of Kuantan Singingi and Kampar, he noted. (*)

 

Source: Antara

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Economy

People not be provoked with rumours on Freeport’s operating area

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An illustration of Freeport mine. – the Courtesy of Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – A provincial parliament member, the Rev. Nikolaus Degey, expects people of neighbouring regencies Mimika Regency in Papua Province, would not address rumours on Freeport’s operating areas seriously.

“Rumors say Freeport’s operating area has crossed the territory of other regencies. It’s not true. This issue is misleading,” confirmed the Rev. Degey to Jubi on Sunday (15/12/2019).

The operating area of PT Freeport Indonesia covers both mining and port areas, where located in Mimika Regencies. In 1972, Freeport started its ground mining exploitation which makes it the largest ground mining area in the world.

Along with advanced technology, Freeport shifted its operation into underground mining, in which activities are invisible from the public. This has raised speculations among people who believe the company’s operating area has crossed their regions.

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“We appeal to people living in Puncak Jaya, Paniai and Intan Jaya to not being provoked. Because this rumour might harm people,” he said.

Also, he said if Freeport’s operating area has crossed the border of the three regencies it would impact on people’s lives. According to him, if the rumours are true, people in Puncak Jaya, Paniai and Intan Jaya might have a similar experience as people of Mimika Regency. Amungme and Kamoro tribes are indigenous tribes who are the most affected by mining activities of PT Freeport Indonesia.

“I think this would be happening upon them [if the operating area of PT Freeport has crossed the border of Mimika Regency],” he said.

Moreover, the Rev. Nikolaus Degey asked those who spread this rumour to stop provoking people in these three regencies. Instead, he encourages them to bring this issue to the court rather than circulating rumours that potentially harm ordinary people.

Meanwhile, the former provincial parliament member and the Chairman of Paniai Customary Council, John NR Gobai, the issue of Freeport’s mining area should be solved before talking about the provincial or regional area split in Papua. It is important to ensure that the establishment of new administrative areas would not raise conflict of interest to get a share of Freeport mining activities.

Gobai said the corporate, indigenous council and the government must sit together to solve this issue. The Government also need to guarantee the future of people.

“If I was questioned, I would say it’s better to solve the mining and land-tenure rights of people living around the company. [If] the company has done all this business in its mining area, they would go. People would never go, they will stay. So it needs a guarantee [for them]” said Gobai. (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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