Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Villagers protest pollution - Bogor

Source: The Jakarta Post

BOGOR: Hundreds of villagers in Jonggol district, Bogor regency, protested on Tuesday against frozen and dry food producer PT Belfoods Indonesia for polluting Cibodas River.

The protesters demanded that the company clean the river and stop releasing liquid waste into the river.

One of the villagers, Ucung, said that they have faced a water shortage since the company was established a few years ago. "We can't use the river water because it smells terrible, maybe it's from the company's liquid waste."

The company was also alleged to have caused air pollution. "The putrid smell from the company can be sensed from dusk to sunset," said another resident Suwito.

Belfoods legal officer, Yuke Ardian, admitted that the company's waste treatment facility had been broken since early 2003 but the company tried to speed up repairs in the last two months.

"We plan to upgrade our waste treatment facility because the existing one could not perfectly process the waste. We regret this incident. We understand that the river water is also used by the locals for their daily needs. We will try to pump the liquid waste from the river," he said. "We will make a groundwater well in three kampongs to meet their needs." -- JP