Thursday, May 12, 2011

La surpopulation est une réalité. "Stop vissage Déjà-Vieux"

For President Kenny Michelle Goldsmith Cellini

The small village of Sukamaju on the outskirts of Bandung, West Java, is nestled within mountains and rice plantations. To the naked eye, the scenery looks beautiful. But on closer inspection, this ecosystem is supported by a water source that is sick and heavily polluted.
We've arrived to cover a story on the Kithara River, considered one of the most polluted rivers in Indonesia, if not the world. Around 30 million people rely on this water basin, and it provides 80 percent of Jakarta's drinking water.
While this water is obviously treated for consumption in the larger town and big cities, in Sukamaju what's in the river is pumped directly to the community. The only filtration available is a towel or sock wrapped around a waterspout. The villagers use this water everyday to bathe, wash and cook.
But for drinking, they will boil it. Health experts tell us this process will kill the bacteria but it certainly won't get rid of the heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
Near the village there are dozens of textile factories -- the main source of employment for many of the local people. They're also one of the biggest polluters of the Citarum River, spewing industrial waste directly into the waterways.
At one spot outside a plant, the water is black with pollution. Children play in it; crops are grown beside it.
A little further upstream, 10 meters before the water turns black, we meet a man who is washing plastic bags he will then sell. He says he does it here because of the strong chemicals in the water -- it helps him do his job more effectively.
We meet Nyai, a 60-year-old great grandmother who has a persistent skin infection. She has welts, lumps and dark markings all over her torso. Her daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren all suffer the same condition, including 4-year-old Wildan.
I ask him to show me where it's itchy and he points to the spots covering his face and neck. Nyai says this skin condition only became a problem for her village after the textile factories set up in the 1980s.
Asked if she's angry about the water situation Nyai replies: "We have no choice, this is the only water we have. Everyone in this village only has this water source. If it's raining then our wells will get fresh water. But if it's dry season, everyone must use this water."