Wed, 25 Sep 2002

Logging impairs Baloi reservoir

BATAM, Riau: Illegal logging and residential settlements have impaired the quality of water at the Baloi water reservoir in Batam Island, Riau, making it hard for locals to get clean water, the Riau Islands Natural Resources Conservation chairman Mudjiono said.

He said some 11,000 illegal houses have been built near the reservoir and their waste is contaminating the water, turning its color to yellowish-brown and lowering the reservoir's water level.

Meanwhile, more than one-third, or 4,300 hectares, of Batam's 12,000 hectares of protected forests have been cut down due to land clearance and illegal logging.

Mudjiono urged local people to stop cutting down the forest as the provincial administration had only allocated Rp 1.3 billion for the reforestation program. --Antara