Tue, 06 Aug 2002

Locals complain of polluted water

TANGERANG: Industrial firms have polluted the Cicarab river that flows through Sukadiri district in Tangerang, according to a non-governmental organization Forum Lintas Pelaku (FLP) which recently conducted a study on the river.

"Since many industrial firms were established here, residents living along the river and fishermen have repeatedly complained that they can no longer use the water for bathing and washing," FLP chairman Nazzarudin told the regency council's Commission D on development on Monday.

He said the river water that flows through Gintung, Buaran Jati, Rawa Kidang, Sukadiri and Karang Serang villages in the district had turned dark and foul smelling.

"The water would probably also cause disease for residents who still use it while fisherman who used to take water from the river must now buy water to wash the fish they catch at sea," he said.

Industrial development in Tangerang has frequently caused a negative impact on local residents because most industrial firms fail to process their waste properly.

The regency environmental agencies indeed monitor the river, but monitoring is usually done during the day, whereas industrial firms usually dump their waste at night.

Especially during the dry spell, many residents, including those in Sukadiri, have faced difficulties in obtaining water, so most of them have turned to the river water as an alternative water source.

"We had no other water sources, so we are forced to use the polluted water. We cannot afford to buy water for our daily needs," a local, Subarja, told The Jakarta Post.

Responding to the pollution problem, Commission D member Abdul Ghani expressed concern.

"I personally feel concerned, this is an environmental problem, I think the environmental agency must take action as soon as possible," he said, promising that the council would seriously study the reports. --JP