An employee walking along a thermal pipe at the Kamojang geothermal
power plant near Garut, West Java, on March 18. State utility provider
 Perusahaan Listrik Negara is targeting an additional 135 megawatts of
electricity from three new geothermal plants. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,.. etc.)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“.. Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time. …”

Monday, March 31, 2008

City 'behind' in sanitation: Experts

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 03/31/2008 10:44 AM

While water and sanitation problems have become a liability for Jakarta, the administration has yet to pay sufficient attention to these growing issues to fix them once and for all, an expert says.

The capital is far behind other provinces in ensuring access to clean water and household waste treatment for all residents, including squatters, said Basah Hernowo, director of forestry and water resource conservation at the National Development Planning Board.

"The administration has got everything it needs -- money, infrastructure and human resources. The problem lies with how seriously the administration takes the issue, not prioritizing it in policies because it is regarded as a mega-budget project which would burden the city," he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

Consequently, he said, only around 40 percent of residents have access to city-managed piped water, and less enjoy conventional sewerage or use a shallow sewer system. The remaining majority rely on contaminated groundwater and rivers for water supply.

"In the short term, the city administration must provide better sanitation, or at least make sure residents have proper septic tanks for their houses so human waste does not further contaminate groundwater and rivers," he said.

The money for the work, he suggested, could be taken from the Rp 1 billion micro credit scheme provided for each subdistrict.

Hernowo's concerns took the fore with World Water Day held March 22, under the theme, "Acknowledging access to clean water as a basic right". This year was also proclaimed International Sanitation Year, on March 27.

Health agency records from 2005 show some 84 percent of groundwater samples taken from across Jakarta were contaminated with human waste. The Jakarta Environmental Management Board says all of Jakarta's 13 rivers are severely polluted.

The more polluted a river is, the more a water company has to spend treating water. As a result, residents must pay higher water rates for piped water that still is not potable.

Bali, by comparison, has begun work on a sewerage system in Badung regency, and Jakarta neighbors Tangerang and Bogor have provided potable water for consumers.

State Water and Sanitation Working Group executive Oswar Mungkasa wrote in his thesis, in 2006, that more investment in tap water and subsidized water tariffs by the central government would boost economic growth and improve people's welfare in Jakarta.

"Water policy in Jakarta is not pro-poor yet. The administration needs to set a target to provide access to clean water for its poor residents. It should regard this issue as a gauge of successful development. It could raise awareness of how important these issues are," he told the Post.

Women unite to promote sanitation in East Jakarta

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 03/31/2008 10:44 AM


Female residents of Kampung Pulo, a flood-prone neighborhood in Kampung Melayu subdistrict, East Jakarta, banded together Thursday to determine the cause of their area's frequent floodings and lack of drinkable water.


The group of about 100 women, mostly comprised of housewives, put aside their daily activities for two hours and put their heads together to find a solution to the water crisis plaguing their poor, densely populated neighborhood.


"We're still mapping the problems and their doable solutions before another meeting next week, when we'll draw up a plan," said Neneng, 53, a mother of three who runs a kiosk selling cellular phones and phone credit vouchers.


Over the past two months, during the height of the rainy season, the neighborhood, which sits on the banks of the Ciliwung River, has been frequently submerged in floodwater between 50 centimeters and 1.5 meters deep.


The housewives at the meeting appeared to have all the answers to the problem.


"It's either dredging the waste-clogged river or building embankment walls. Of course, no more throwing garbage into the river.


"But the main problem, we think, is neither the lack of money or tools to do it, but rather a lack of awareness among residents, especially men," Neneng said.


Thanks to Quadrant Utama, an NGO which has provided advocacy and education on water, sanitation and environmental issues since 2005, the 100 women who regularly attend the NGO's discussion classes have become aware of their right to clean water and proper sanitation.


The women have also taken action to mobilize residents to clean up the neighborhood before the rainy season starts and after flooding.


Quadrant team leader Rossy said the women had started to question the role of the government in protecting their rights.


"They realized it was no use waiting around for the government to help alleviate the problem, so they agreed they would be better off taking matters into their own hands," she told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the discussion.


The meeting's attendees said there was a lack of clean, affordable water sources in the neighborhood.


Many of the women, those who work as clothes washers or snack sellers in front of their homes because their husbands are unemployed, can not afford tap water subscriptions and cited the alternative groundwater as oily and contaminated with household waste.


An alternative for them is to buy a 15 liter water container costing Rp 3,500 (US 30 cents) which can sustain a family for two days, and kerosene priced at Rp 5,000 per liter to boil the water.


"We have received the central government's free package of gas stoves and 3-kilogram cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but most of the residents can not operate them for fear of a possible explosion, so we still rely on kerosene as cooking fuel," said Ade Effendi, a community chief in the neighborhood.


The government is phasing out the much-subsidized kerosene in households and micro businesses, replacing it with LPG.


"Fewer and fewer residents take water from the river to cook or to drink, while the number of occurrences of sanitation-related diseases, including diarrhea and dengue fever, has dropped," said Mohamad Yunus, another community chief in the area.


There is still a long way to go before residents can treat their own water sources for safe consumption.


"We haven't reached the point where they can take the initiative themselves to treat the water because one or two of them continue to bleach the river water they use to wash dishes and vegetables. But they are getting there," said Dewi, a Quadrant tutor.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Waste-based power plant project to go ahead despite protest

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Sat, 03/29/2008 11:12 AM

The Bandung municipal administration will go ahead with its plan to build a waste-based power generation plant despite strong opposition by local residents and the absence of an environment impact analysis.

A soft launch for the construction of the plant was held Monday in conjunction with the commemoration of the 62nd Bandung Lautan Api Day in Bandung.

Ignoring the protest and the unavailability of analysis from the Bandung office of the environmental management agency, Bandung Mayor Dada Rosada said he was optimistic construction of the project would run as expected.

"Now the launch for the project is being held, but its implementation still awaits the issuance of the permit," Dada said.

State Minister for Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman, who attended the launch ceremony, said he supported the project.

Kusmayanto said his office's support was dependent on the use of proper technology designed to reduce the level of pollution.

"We are not the operator ... the one in charge of the project is the municipal administration. Our duty is just giving a proposal on the most appropriate technology," Kadiman said.

The launch ceremony was held seven kilometers from the site for the project.

The event was protested by residents fearful the plant will worsen air pollution in the city through carbon dioxide emissions.

The technology suggested for the power generation, Kadiman said, would be able to maximize usage but minimize risks.

He cited as an example the burning of plastic waste, which has the risk of releasing poisonous substances into the environment.

Active dissemination on how to reduce waste through the application of three Rs -- reuse, reduce and recycle -- should also be pursued, he said.

The power plant project, designed to process about 100 tons of household waste per day, will likely be built by the municipal administration together with the construction of a 60,000-seat sports stadium.

The two projects are estimated to cost about Rp 350 billion (US$38.80 million) each, with the funding to come from both the municipal and provincial budgets.

New groundwater fees set for Jakarta

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 03/28/2008 11:27 AM

The city mining agency is planning to raise ground water fees for businesses and industry by an average 600 percent, in a bid to balance prices set by tap water providers.

"In principle, ground water should be more expensive than tap water," agency head Peni Susanti said Thursday at City Hall.

"Tap water providers have increased their water tariff six times, while we haven't done anything."

Consequently, businesses had opted for cheaper ground water in spite of a 1998 ordinance intended to restrict businesses and industries from using ground water when they were located within tap water operators' service areas, she said.

The ordinance also prohibits businesses from consuming more than 100 cubic meters of ground water per well per day.

Since the enactment of the ordinance, Peni said, the agency had found 100 office buildings in the capital were drawing excessive amounts of ground water. In 2002 alone there were more than 400 businesses stealing ground water, she said.

Limited coverage areas of tap water suppliers PT Pam Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) and PT Thames PAM Jaya (TPJ) had prompted businesses to unlawfully use ground water, Peni said.

The two operators impose rates of Rp 5,932 (64 U.S. cents) per cubic meter on average -- the highest water rates in Indonesia.

The huge amount of ground water consumption had raised public concerns over a water crisis in the capital and land subsidence, Peni said.

The new rates were important to discourage further use of ground water, she added.

"We'll focus on high-rise buildings through the future ground water tariff policy, as 87 percent of them have affected the land's solidity," she said.

The exploitation of ground water in Jakarta has accelerated land subsidence, particularly in business districts where many high-rise buildings have been built.

The groundwater level in the Mega Kuningan business area in South Jakarta, for example, is dropping by five meters per year.

The agency recorded 80 percent of the city's land subsidence was caused by building construction, 17 percent by ground water exploitation and 3 percent by natural causes.

According to the head of the agency's groundwater management department, Dian Wiwekowati, the agency has finished drafting the future policy that will be issued in a gubernatorial decree after its approval from City Council.

There will be various ground water fares, she said.

"For example, the current price of Rp 3,000 per cubic meter for big industries will increase to Rp 16,000 after the decree," she told The Jakarta Post.

The new fares, expected to come into effect by the end of 2008, would affect some 3,780 businesses and industries holding agency-issued permits, she said.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Architects welcome new restriction

Agnes Winarti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 03/27/2008 11:52 AM

The Association of Indonesian Architects (IAI) welcomes the new enacted gubernatorial regulation in Jakarta which prevents unlicensed architects being involved in property constructions.

The revised gubernatorial regulation was formally enacted this month.

"The new regulation will oblige all architects working for building constructions to hold their own design and planning permit," IAI chairman Budi Adelar Sukada said Wednesday.

"Permit letters were frequently being copied and illegally sold by licensed architects to unlicensed ones. There was no firm punishment before," Budi said.

He said every year the IAI fired 10 of its members who were found to have sold their permit letters. "They can easily return to their membership and get new permits."

The new regulation requires all architecture university graduates involved in construction to become members of the IAI and obtain certificates before getting their own permit letters.

"Before this regulation, any graduate from vocational schools could easily get a false permit."

The IAI currently has 6,000 architects in Jakarta, which comprises about half of its entire membership nationwide. Only 1,500 of them have their own permit letters.

However, the regulation still has weaknesses, said Budi.

"The city administration usually only supervises construction in certain locations, like in commercial areas as well as properties designated for social and public services.

"So, the permit issue for housing construction may easily being overlooked."

He said there was also current regulation allowing construction on land under 700 square meters wide for which a permit from the mayor or heads of districts and subdistricts is required. He said all administration officials needed to be introduced to the new regulation.

Head of the city's Property Management and Control Agency Hari Sasongko said Wednesday, "Supervising construction is not only the job of the administration. Architects also need to monitor their own property designs because they are the ones who will complain if their designs are changed during implementation."

Hari also acknowledged the administration's previous penalty to destroy properties made by unlicensed architects wasineffective.

"They keep constructing more unlicensed buildings in the city and it costs the administration more money to demolish them."

In 2006, the agency recorded 5,000 property violations in Jakarta, with 600 buildings being demolished by the administration. Last year, the agency saw less than 5,000 property violations, with 800 of them being destroyed.

Hari said, "With the new permit regulation, it won't just be the buildings that come under penalty. The people in charge of the construction will also be held accountable, especially the architects."

He said architects caught selling their permit letters would lose their permits as well as their life-time memberships.

Both Hari and Budi were present in a seminar Wednesday on Architecture in Indonesia, held by the University of Indonesia's architecture faculty.

Hari said many architects in Indonesia neglected the environmental impacts and security issues of their properties.

"Many architects seem to live in their own world, aiming for aesthetics."

Hari also said architects had a moral responsibility in designing buildings that are comfortable enough to live in.

Budi, who acknowledged design is rarely perfect, said the government's lack of support and acknowledgement of local architects as national assets was regrettable.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mud, chlorine still flow through city water pipes

Tifa Asrianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta |Tue, 03/25/2008 11:20 AM

Residents of North and East Jakarta were still enduring muddy tap water with a strong chlorine smell on Monday as a result of a water production disruption that occurred 10 days ago.

Malya Permanasari, a resident of Rawa Badak in North Jakarta, said her tap water had been murky for the last few days.

"I was in a hurry, so I had to use the muddy water. At least the water doesn't smell like the gutter," said Malya, who has been a water company customer since 1985.

Another Rawa Badak resident, Luki Arifin, said besides being dirty, his tap water also had a strong smell of chlorine.

"I can use the water as I only use it for bathing and washing," he said. "But I have to let the water sit for a while to allow the mud to settle. However, I can't do anything about the chlorine."

Similar complaints have come from East Jakarta residents.

Stefani, who lives in Pondok Kopi, and Lisa Gunawan, who live in Jatinegara, said the water in their area also had a strong smell of chlorine.

On March 13, PT Thames PAM Jaya (TPJ) issued a notification letter saying it had suffered a 9.5 percent decrease in targeted water production after heavy rain upstream raised the turbidity level.

The raw water turbidity level, as recorded from raw water supplier Perum Jasa Tirta II Jatiluhur, was over 9,000 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit), above the 2,500 NTU tolerance level.

To meet the required clean water standard, TPJ performed a sterilization process, affecting water production in 66 subdistricts in North and East Jakarta.

TPJ communications director Rhamses Simanjuntak said even though water production was disrupted for a few hours, water supply could be affected for longer.

"Therefore, we sent notification letters to the media to be published in advance, so that our customers were ready if water supply slowed down or even stopped suddenly," Rhamses told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

According to Rhamses, the notification letter stated TPJ's responsibility to customers and said the company would not compensate customers for any disruption to water quality or supply.

When asked about the muddy water in Rawa Badak, he said the problem might be caused by technical work close to the area. As for the chlorine smell, Rhamses said it was probably caused by the sterilization process.

After signing a 25-year contract with city-owned water company PAM Jaya in 1997, TPJ and its counterpart PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) supply tap water to the city.

Many customers have complained about the two operators' poor tap water quality amid increasing water rates applied by the administration.

Some customers have switched to groundwater in an attempt to find cleaner water.

Stefani said her family stopped using tap water and turned to groundwater six months ago. However, she continues to pay the subscription fee because she often uses piped water to pump the groundwater.

"Piped water makes my skin itchy. Besides, we can't rely on piped water, the water supply often stops without any explanation," Stefani said.

Another Pondok Kopi resident, Nova, also turned to groundwater two months ago after the water company changed her house status and increased rates.

"The rate was too expensive and didn't match with the company's performance. It's cheaper to use groundwater," she said.

Shopping mall business is booming, plenty of room for more: Developers

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang | Tue, 03/25/2008 11:20 AM 


Mall developers say that despite the rapid construction of new shopping malls in Greater Jakarta in recent years, further expansion is viable enough that the number of malls here could double by 2011.


The chairman of the Jakarta-Banten chapter of the Indonesian Shopping Center Association (APPBI), Andreas Kartawinata, said the increasing population density and improving socioeconomic conditions were the main factors behind the opportunity.


He said close proximity of malls had nothing to do with the survival of each.


"The success of mall businesses will be decided by attractions presented by each mall," he said.


Andreas said the APPBI catered to 60 shopping malls in Greater Jakarta, a quarter of which were located in Tangerang.


PT Lippo Karawaci leads in the expansion of big shopping malls, building and managing more than 20, while PT Sinar Mas, with its ITC malls, comes in the second, he said.


Andreas predicted the number of shopping malls in Greater Jakarta would double by 2011.


He said to survive in the long-term, shopping malls in Tangerang should also cooperate, not only compete.


He cited the success of the Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore.


"Orchard Road consists of shopping centers stacked together, with no distance between them. All attract visitors and make a profit since they cooperate with each other," he said.


PT Lippo Karawaci spokesman Paulus Tambunan said the mall business was still lucrative, adding that most retail space at malls under his company's management were leased to tenants.


"It's easier to manage with a leasing system for the survival and the progress of the shopping mall," he said.


He said among Lippo's shopping malls using a leasing system were Plaza Semanggi, Mega Mall Pluit, Lippo Cikarang and Cibubur Junction, Pejaten Village, Ekalokasari Plaza, Kemang Village and Puri Village Malls in Greater Jakarta, and Bandung Indah Plaza and Istana Plaza in Bandung and Binjai Supermal in North Sumatra.


However, Paulus said some malls were still struggling to attract tenants.


"Spaces at other Lippo malls such as Belanofa Country Mall in Sentul, WTC Serpong and Metropolis Town Square in Tangerang, Depok Town Square in Depok, Medan Grand Paladium in North Sumatra, GTC Makassar in South Sulawesi and City Octomoro in Surabaya are for sale," he said.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Poor districts to get toilets


Multa Fidrus , The Jakarta Post, Tangerang | Mon, 03/24/2008 11:32 AM 


Tangerang's municipal administration is set to build 21 public toilets in Batu Ceper, Benda and Karang Tengah districts this year for residents with no access to sanitation facilities, the mayor said Saturday.


"The construction of the public toilets is one of three main developmental programs we have been focusing on since 2005," Tangerang Mayor Wahidin Halim told reporters.


"We have allocated Rp 1.8 billion from (this year's) budget to build public toilets, which is part of a poverty alleviation program across the three districts," he said.


Wahidin said many residents of the districts were too poor to afford their own bathrooms and toilets and were forced to use public land as a substitute.


Wahidin said each public toilet would be equipped with a water closet, a 'bak mandi (water tub) and a laundry area capable of serving at least 50 families.


"We will also provide the residents with clean water via the municipal tap water company," he said.


Seven public toilets were set to be built early this month in Poris Gaga subdistrict in Batu Ceper, nine in Pedurenan subdistrict, Karang Tengah, and five in Belendung subdistrict, an area close to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.


The mayor has also ordered the municipal's Building and Resettlement Agency to collect data on residents still living without proper sanitation.


"It's unthinkable that there are still many residents without toilets and bathrooms who still have to go and find vacant land and rivers," he said.


The administration also allocated Rp 6.5 billion from this year's budget to support Tri Bina-concept empowerment programs for poor residents.


The Tri Bina concept helps provide poor residents with free basic needs, including health, education, social services, sanitation facilities and micro-credit, Wahidin said.

Indonesia warned of looming water crisis

Lilian Budianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 03/23/2008 7:37 AM

Ratna, a resident of a slum in Cilincing, North Jakarta, has struggled for years to cope with chronic water shortages.

The mother of three young children says her only water source is a well located at the back of her depleted hut, which runs out of water during the dry season.

To provide her family with adequate clean water, she has to buy it from a vendor for Rp 3,000 (US$0.30) per jerry can. Her family needs at least three jerry cans a day.

Without access to tap water, Ratna has to spend more than a quarter of her husband’s salary on clean water.

To have clean water, she has had to slash her children’s food budget, she said.

“I have no choice. I can’t do household chores without clean water,” she said. “My kids are used to eating rice with just soy sauce. They have never complained about it.”

Hanung Santono, an activist with the People’s Coalition for the Right to Water, said water shortages would affect even more people in the future if the government failed to handle the matter seriously.

A 2003 study by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) found densely populated Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara to be the three areas most vulnerable to water shortages.

In 2003, water demand in Java and Bali reached 38.4 billion cubic meters while tap water production only stood at 25.3 billion cubic meters. People without access to tap water have to rely on underground water or resort to rivers, even though many of them are polluted.

Walhi predicted more residents of Jakarta and Bali would face water shortages in coming years because water demand was growing faster than water provision.

“Water crises affect the poor the most. The poor have to pay more for water than other residents who have access to treated tap water,” said Hanung.

“It is ridiculous the poor have to pay more to get clean water simply because they have no access to tap water.”

He criticized the government’s decision to allow private sector management of treated tap water after it failed to provide clean water to the wider public.

He said 11 years after water privatization, tap water only met 55 percent of demand and water quality remained poor.

“Private sectors do not aim to provide water for everyone; it is a business for them. Our Constitution says every citizen is entitled to clean water.”

He said the government should stop perceiving water as a commodity and reclaim water management from the private sector.

Achmad Lanti, chairman of the Jakarta water supply regulatory body, said Tuesday illegal water connections and consumption hampered water operators from increasing supply to meet the increasing demand.

“Both PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya and PT Thames Pam Jaya provide 17,000 liters of water a second. Half of this amount is lost due to illegal pipe connections,” he said, referring to the city’s tap water providers.

Legislator Alvin Lie of the National Mandate Party (PAN) said he was fearful the water crisis would trigger nationwide conflict in the future.

“As long as people can still rely on underground water, a serious water shortage is not imminent,” said the member of Commission VII on energy, research, technology, science and the environment.

“But underground water can be exhausted if people keep exploiting it, and once that happens, I am afraid conflict is inevitable,” he said.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pits expected to bring back clean water

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/12/2008 11:48 AM

The Jakarta Mining Agency has kicked off a campaign to promote the construction of percolation pits throughout Jakarta in a bid to conserve the city's clean water.

Governor Fauzi Bowo said at Tuesday's campaign launch the construction of pits is expected to help resolve the city's clean water shortages.

"The target is to have more than 220,000 pits in the city. It won't be an easy job and I doubt it will be achieved during my five-year term," Fauzi said, adding there are currently around 38,000 percolation pits in the city.

The campaign, dubbed "Let's save Jakarta's underground water", is supported by the School of Engineering at the University of Indonesia and several large national companies, which have already built percolation pits in their compounds.

Most of the city's houses and buildings pump underground water for their daily use. The extensive underground water extraction has led to clean water shortages during the dry season and land subsidence, resulting in more areas being flooded each year.

The city's land surfaces have sunk an average of 1.2 meters during the past 25 years.

Underground water is quickly replaced by seawater. According to a city agency report, salt water intrusion has reached as far as 15 kilometers inland.

Hari Sasongko, head of the Property Management and Control Agency, said for a percolation pit to harvest water efficiently, one square meter hole is required for every 25 square meters of covered land surface.

Pits must reach the land's sand layer, usually between 4 and 8 meters down, to allow the water to be absorbed quickly.

Hari said it had been compulsory since 2001 for all new constructions in the city to include percolation pits.

"For those buildings constructed before 2001, the owners will be required to build a pit as part of their building use permission renewal," he said.

The city will also prohibit developers from dewatering the land in tall building developments. Dewatering is a procedure for drying out land by pumping out underground water, generally used in developments with basements.

The campaign introduces the "5 Rs guide to saving underground water". The "5 Rs" are Reducing water use, Reusing water for other needs such as watering plants, Recycling polluted water, Recharging the land using percolation pits and biopore holes, and Recovering damaged water catchment areas. (dre)

Indonesia to build four nuclear power plants by 2025

The Jakarta Post

ntara , Surakarta, Central Java | Wed, 03/12/2008 3:02 PM

The government plans to build four nuclear power plants by 2025 to meet electricity demand, State Minister for Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman said Wednesday.

"If one nuclear power plant can produce 1,200 megawatts of electricity, we need four plants by 2025 to meet demand," he said during a visit to Surakarta's March 11 University.

"We have surveyed a number of sites for the nuclear plants including in northern Java and southern Kalimantan."

Kusmayanto said going nuclear was part of the country's 2004- 2025 long-term development plan.

The government plans to build the first nuclear power plant near Mt. Muria in Jepara, Central Java. The plant is expected to be operational by 2016 despite strong opposition from residents and environment activists.

"We have to start the construction this year. Otherwise, we will be behind schedule," Kusmayanto said.

"It is normal if there are parties who oppose the plan. We have prepared everything for the nuclear power plant from planning, technology, financing to human resources."

Indonesia currently has three nuclear reactors for scientific purposes in Bandung, Yogyakarta and Serpong, Banten.


The roof of an elementary school on Jl. Babakan, Bandung, West Java, collapses on Tuesday but leaves no casualties. Teachers said the local had not responded to the request to have the 38-year old school renovated. (JP/Yuli Tri Suwarni)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Soldiers rebuild damaged school

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 03/10/2008 1:24 PM

BOGOR: Some 25 infantry troops from the Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) helped rebuild Cimandala Elementary School in Ciluar to mark the 47th anniversary of the Army force.

Kostrad cooperated with state oil and gas company Pertamina in renovating the school which sits on Kostrad land.

"We chose to help the school because it's in bad condition," said the Lt. Col. Jati Bambang, commander of the soldiers, who came from Field Artillery's Battalion 10.

The soldiers planned to finish the renovation in 18 days, and are currently working on classroom repairs and painting the school walls.

One of the teachers, Yadi Harmiadi said the school with 260 students was built in 1980 and damaged during a whirlwind in 2005.

Two die in Semanggi platform accident

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sat, 03/08/2008 12:09 PM

South Jakarta Police said Friday they had questioned four witnesses over the death of two technicians who fell from the ninth floor of South Jakarta's Plaza Semanggi, but have yet to reach a conclusion on the cause of the accident.

The head of the South Jakarta Police, Sr. Comr. Chairul Anwar, said two of the witnesses were from building management, two were surviving colleagues of the victims and the fourth was a passerby who saw the event from below.

Chairul said the two victims, Syamsul Arif and Hadi Masliadi, were technicians tasked with checking the building's suspension devices. They fell to their death Thursday following the suspected malfunction of a nearby maintenance platform.

"A falling platform crashed into a wall near to where the two men were standing, causing both to fall," Chairul said as quoted by

The bodies of the victims were taken to a hospital near Plaza Semanggi. Their bodies were later sent to the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Plaza Semanggi public relations official Laila Tania said the contractor that owned the gondola would accept all responsibility for the accident.

Poor hygiene weakens RI's tourism: Study

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta , | Mon, 03/10/2008 1:21 AM

The government will need to work extra hard to lure foreign visitors with this year's ambitious Visit Indonesia Year campaign, in the light of health and hygiene issues mentioned in a recent report.

The report, issued March 4 by Switzerland-based World Economic Forum (WEF), cited Indonesia's poor health and hygiene conditions and inadequate infrastructure as key disadvantages in attracting foreign visitors.

WEF ranked Indonesia 80th among 130 countries in its Travel and Competitiveness Index 2008, lower than neighbors Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Last year, Indonesia ranked 60th among 124 countries studied.

Indonesia's health facilities and hygiene received poor scores because of the country's low number of physicians (per capita), inadequate hospital beds, and poor access to improved sanitation and drinking water.

As Southeast Asia's largest economy, Indonesia also received low scores for quality of tourism infrastructure, comprising hotel rooms, presence of major car rental firms and automatic teller machines accepting Visa cards.

These problems were the main reasons for Indonesia's fall in ranking, WEF says.

Indonesia's edge in the competitiveness index related to competitive prices for goods and services, prioritization of travel and tourism spots, and the availability of qualified labor, the report said.

The index was arranged based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the WEF's own survey on qualitative institutional and business environment issues.

The index ranked Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Australia and Spain as the top five countries in the study (respectively).

As organizers of the high profile annual international business forum in Davos, Switzerland, the WEF is an independent international non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The forum was first established in January 1971, when a group of European business leaders met under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations.

State Ministry of Culture and Tourism marketing director general Sapta Nirwandar told The Jakarta Post recently the government was in the process of improving tourism infrastructure, and making easier entry procedures for tourists.

"We are still in the process of fixing everything. We are now increasing promotions and cultural events overseas, simplifying visa procedures and improving the quality of service and human resource professionalism," he said.

Last year, some 5.51 million foreign tourists visited the world's largest archipelago, up from 4.87 million in 2006, according to data from to the Central Statistics Agency.

Singapore accounted for the largest number of visitors, with 1.46 million, followed by Malaysia (941,202), Japan (593,784), Australia (313,881), South Korea (423,098), China (335,172), Europe (528,171), and the United States (154,846), the agency reported.

"We have many interesting places and cultures, but many of them don't have good infrastructure or facilities to accommodate visitors' needs," said Thamrin Bhiwana Bachri, an executive at the State Ministry for Culture and Tourism.

"The facilities will include convenient hotels, clean public toilets, well-managed airports, and easy access to tourist attractions," he said.

For 2008, Indonesia has targeted to net seven million foreign visitors under the Visit Indonesia Year campaign funded by the State Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

|Sapta said, however, the figure was still far less than Singapore or Malaysia, which were targeting to this year lure some 10.2 million and 20.7 million foreign visitors respectively. (rff)

The 2008 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index

Rank Country Score (1-7 scale) 1 Switzerland 5.63 2 Austria 5.43 3 Germany 5.41 4 Australia 5.34 5 Spain 5.30 6 United Kingdom 5.28 7 United States 5.28 8 Sweden 5.27 9 Canada 5.26 10 France 5.23 16 Singapore 5.06 32 Malaysia 4.63 42 Thailand 4.37 80 Indonesia 3.70 81 Philippines 3.70 96 Vietnam 3.57 112 Cambodia 3.32

Indonesia's travel & tourism indicators (2007)

GDP (US$ millions) 10,167 Employment (1,000 jobs) 1,981

(Source: The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008; World Economic Forum)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Traditional markets get a boost

Novia D. Rulistia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sat, 03/08/2008 12:11 PM

The government has allocated Rp 140 billion (US$15 million) for the construction and renovation of traditional markets throughout Indonesia this year, an official said.

Speaking to The Jakarta Post on Thursday, the Trade Ministry's director general for domestic trade, Ardiansyah Parman, said the budget, although limited, was expected to cover the renovation of market infrastructure, especially in the regions.

Ardiansyah said the budget, which was increased from Rp 100 billion in 2006, would be used to finance the construction of 32 traditional markets, 42 markets in remote and undeveloped regions, five markets in border regions as well as on the smallest and outer islands, 10 markets in regions that had been hit by disasters and nine supporting markets.

"Ideally, the budget needed for the development of traditional markets is Rp 15 trillion," he said, adding that it would take years to cover the development of 12,000 markets in 462 regencies throughout the nation.

The government has said that the survival of traditional markets is at risk as more people shop at modern markets.

In response, the government is also urging vendors at traditional markets to improve their services and market conditions, to maintain customers.

The government also issued a presidential regulation in 2007, which, among other things, restricts the expansion of modern retailers, including supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores, in certain zones.

Last year, 20 traditional markets were built in provinces hit by disasters, including in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Bengkulu, South Kalimantan and South Sulawesi.

In addition, seven traditional markets were built in border regions, such as Entikong in West Kalimantan, Skow in Jayapura and the Sangihe Talaud islands in North Sulawesi.

In remote regions, markets were built in the Mentawai islands, off the western coast of Sumatra, and Enggano off the southwest of Sumatra.

"For next year, we suggest that the budget for the development of traditional markets should be included in the special allocation funds (under the annual state budget) in order to speed up the development process," Ardiansyah said.

The role of local governments and the private sector in developing traditional markets also has to be stepped up, he said.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bekasi Goes Green

Bahasa (Indonesian)

World Bank - Bekasi, March 3, 2008 – If there is any city in the island of Java that deserves to be recognized for its progressive, green-minded approach to sustainable development, that city would be Bekasi. A city of two million people just east of the capital, Bekasi has become the first city in Java Island to enter into an emission reduction purchase agreement that promises both environmental and social benefits.

The agreement entails the set-up of a gas-flaring facility at Bekasi’s Sumur Batu landfill, which generates up to seven hundred cubic meters of solid waste each year. The flaring technique essentially traps the methane gas resulting from solid waste, and goes a long way in reducing the number of climate pollutants deriving from Bekasi.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is potentially 21 times more harmful than CO2, the main contributor to global warming. The flaring facility will be built by PT Gikoko Kogyo Indonesia, an engineering company that specializes in clean air technology, and is scheduled to be operational by the end of March.

The World Bank, acting as a trustee of the Netherlands Clean Development Mechanism, will help provide the social benefit component. Under the agreement for Bekasi city, the World Bank will purchase 250,000 tons of CO2-equivalent of Certified Emissions Reductions (CER) each year, for the next 15 years. In the global carbon market, one CER is equal to one ton of CO2 and is priced between US$5 to $10. From the deal signed between the World Bank and PT Gikoko, seventeen percent of the revenues generated would towards developing Bekasi.

“Seven percent of the revenues will support community development in Sumur Batu,” said Bekasi city secretary Tjandra Utama Effendi in a press conference after the signing ceremony. “Another 10 percent of the revenue will be added to the local budget.”

The Bekasi gas flaring project is only the second of its kind in Indonesia. Last year, the World Bank facilitated a similar agreement to a landfill in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. Another such project is currently being prepared in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Netherlands' 'ugliest' city home to huge solar power venture

The Earth Times, Energy Environment News , DPA , Thu, 06 Mar 2008 02:10:06 GMT

Amsterdam - The central Dutch city of Almere is to be home to the world's third-largest solar energy installation, built on a 7,000-square-metre artificial island, and is set to provide 10 per cent of the city's domestic hot water. The solar energy installation will provide around 10 per cent of the energy used to supply hot water to some 2,700 homes in the city.

On February 29, Almere and the energy provider Nuon signed a contract for the development of the solar power field.

"The size of this solar power field is unprecedented in the Netherlands," Nuon press spokeswoman Susanne Klawer told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

"It is also the third largest solar power field in the world. Only Denmark and Sweden have bigger ones."

With an area of 7,000 square metres, the size of approximately three football fields, the solar power field covers just less than half the surface of the 15,000 square metre island. The solar power island is scheduled to open on June 21, 2009 - a symbolic date since June 21 is the longest day in the northern hemisphere.

The energy will be used for a city-heating system.

Usually, each home has its own central heating boiler or immersion heater which heats up the water used in a home's radiators and taps. In city heating, the water is heated centrally for an entire city or city quarter.

Once heated, the water runs through an underground system of pipes and tubes to all homes and buildings, providing them with hot water for heating and domestic use.

Nuon and the municipality claim the solar collector island will not only be environmentally-friendly, but also "a landmark piece of design."

It is, however, doubtful the Dutch inhabitants will agree with that.

Almere, founded in 1976 and now with some 178,000 inhabitants, has traditionally advertised itself as a city of modern and trendy design - but the Dutch public perceive it as desolate and boring.

Late last week, Almere was dubbed as the "ugliest city of the Netherlands" after a survey by the Dutch daily Volkskrant newspaper.

Nuon says the sun collectors are expected to cut by 50 per cent the carbon dioxide levels required to generate the necessary energy for the 2,700 homes.

"The sun collector island is one of several large-scale revolutionary initiatives by Almere that will benefit the environment," says Almere spokesman Peter Spek.

"We have also commissioned American architect William McDonough to develop an entire cradle-to-cradle neighbourhood, called Almere Poort (Gate of Almere). It will be completed within the next five years," he says.

Cradle-to-cradle is the theory that says everything humanity needs can be made from environmentally-friendly, 100-per-cent sustainable material.

In 2002, McDonough and German chemist and university professor Michael Baungart published their theory in a book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

The two have since been commissioned to develop a number of cradle- to-cradle projects.

Last year, the town of Venlo in the southern Netherlands began to develop Western Europe's largest horticulture centre - serving some 30 million consumers within a 150-kilometre radius stretching from the Netherlands to Germany's industrial Ruhr heartland - according to the cradle-to-cradle ideology.

Almere, the eighth largest city of the Netherlands, has now followed suit.

"Almere Poort will contain sustainable homes and the energy provided for these homes will also originate from sustainable energy," says Spek.

Asked whether the consumer will also benefit financially from solar energy, Nuon spokeswoman Klawer diplomatically says "the consumer will not see prices rise."

Spek points out that "building a sun collector field and other environmentally-friendly facilities requires a major investment."

"Someone has to pay for that," he adds.

Nuon says it is receiving a 1.5 million euros (2.27 million dollars) in a subsidy for the solar collector project, as part of European Union projects Crescendo and Concerto.

Asked about the total costs of the project and the number of years until the investment will start to pay off for Nuon, the company says it "does not release such information until after the project has been completed."