Fri, 11 Jun 2004

'Air pollution is the worst problem'

World Environment Day was commemorated on June 5, which, this year, focuses on efforts to conserve marine resources. In conjunction with the commemoration, The Jakarta Post asked some people for their opinion on the quality of the city's environment and what they do to protect it.

Astuti, 37, works at a kiosk in front of Kramatjati Central Market, East Jakarta. She lives with her husband and three of her children in Susukan, East Jakarta:

Houses in slum areas, which are usually rented out, can look less dirty if the owners work together with the tenants to keep them clean. Usually, owners, once they've leased the dwellings, couldn't care less about their cleanliness.

Vendors of asinan (traditional, preserved, spicy mixed fruit) live on an alley that leads to my house and the area is always littered with discarded fruit peel. It's so bad during the rainy season, when it's wet and muddy, that I don't use that route anymore.

The neighborhood unit chief or the house owners should start a cleanliness program in the neighborhood. If one person starts, others will surely follow.

Sofyan, 27, is a salesperson at an electronics company in Sudirman, Central Jakarta. He lives with his parents in Manggarai, South Jakarta:

The worst environmental problem in Jakarta is definitely air pollution. There are too many cars, not too mention old buses, that spew out thick black smoke.

The government should replace the old buses with new ones. It should also reduce the number of cars, perhaps by limiting the length of time they can be used. But then again, as usual, will such programs be carried out properly?

Nevertheless, the government should produce regulations to cover these matters and enforce them. You can't expect the public to comply voluntarily as people these days are very ignorant about their surroundings.

--The Jakarta Post