Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Environment degradation in Merapi

One year after the slow and painful eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java, surrounding communities must continue to face danger. This time, the danger is not high-profile and does not attract media interest. However, it is no less severe in the long run.

While Merapi eruption is commonly seen as disaster by city folks, it is actually seen in a more balanced light by villagers. For one, an eruption leaves fertile soil which will is really good for the surrounding farmers later. And the business people love the top quality sand that eruptions leave, especially along rivers.

So sand mining is now hot. Jalin Merapi reports: nowadays, on a given day, loads of trucks and day laborers work to mine and transport sand. However, as day laborers may get a good deal of Rp. 50,000 ($5) per day, and the mining companies make a huge profit, the local residents are suffering.

Let's listen to the Selo people in Cepogo, Boyolali, Central Java. Where they live has now become prone to land-slides. Agricultural activities disturbed. Sources of fresh water in jeopardy.

What is to be done?

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