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. …”

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Action Needed Now to Avoid ‘Catastrophe’ in Jakarta

The Jakarta Globe, Emmy Fitri

Motorists stuck in traffic in Central Jakarta.
(Photo: Jurnasyanto Sukarno., JG)

Inextricable traffic jams, even on toll roads, barely breathable air, heavily contaminated water and dwindling open spaces — problems suffered daily by Jakarta residents — may seem intolerable now, but experts warn that it will only become worse unless concerted efforts are made to fix the mess that is Indonesia’s capital.

Urban planning expert Darundono sums up the current path Jakarta is on today in one word — “catastrophic.”

Each day, almost 10 million commuters spend hours on Jakarta’s roads. But transportation analyst Budi Santosa, from Trisakti University, says it has long been predicted, in several studies, that by 2014, traffic jams in the capital are likely to reach total gridlock as a result of the exponential increase in the number of vehicles plying an insufficient road network.

“A viable solution is to design a mass rapid transportation system to reduce the vehicle population. We cannot afford to build another inner-city toll road or more streets because we have run out of land for such massive construction,” Budi said, adding that so far there appear to be no breakthroughs visible on the horizon.

Jakarta, however, is not only running out of land for more roads. The capital is choking from the unfettered conversion of open spaces into concrete.

Darundono says that when he designed the Jakarta Spatial Plan for 1965-1985, the designated green areas accounted for between 26 percent and 28 percent of the city’s surface, but today they make up only about 10 percent.

“The government has been inconsistent in its implementation of its own plans. Parks, green spaces and public cemeteries are being turned into shopping malls and government offices,” he says.

The combined effect of the sheer number of vehicles out on the road each day and the lack of green open spaces that could offset their fumes has severely degraded the quality of the city’s environment.

According to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), transportation causes 70 percent of Jakarta’s air pollution, and the city produces 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide daily.

As a result, on most days of the year — 347 out of 365 in 2006, to be exact — Jakartans are breathing in polluted air.

It is no wonder then, that a third of the capital’s residents suffer from some form of respiratory tract infection each month.

In fact, a World Resources Institute paper says respiratory tract infections account for 12.6 percent of mortality in Jakarta — more than twice the national average.

Admitting that the capital, home to as many as 12 million people, is mired in environmental problems, the acting head of the Jakarta Environment Management Board (BPLHD), Ridwan Panjaitan, says programs to address each and every issue are up and running, including the enforcement of emission tests and the smoking ban.

“But we cannot work by ourselves because some programs are closely related to other agencies like the health agency and the traffic police. That becomes our challenge, to synergize the programs with other agencies because unless we have a common understanding then we cannot work together,” he says.

Returning home at the end of the day, more than five million Jakartans will scarcely find rest and solace in their small, cramped houses in the capital’s rapidly expanding slum areas, where basic services such as water supply and sanitation are minimal, if they exist at all.

The government’s efforts to build thousands of low-cost apartments for the poor have so far been criticized as only adding to the problems, instead of being a solution.

“There will be massive groundwater use,” Darundono said.

Excessive groundwater extraction has long been flagged as a major problem in Jakarta, causing the land to sink by an average of 5 to 10 centimeters a year, according to a study by the World Bank.

The capital’s water supply operators have been unable to connect hundreds of thousands of households, particularly those in slum areas — where the thousands who migrate to Jakarta each year in search of work live.

With the confluence of these urban woes threatening the future of Indonesia’s capital, real solutions must be found soon.

On Nov. 10-12, international experts will converge on Jakarta to map out a sustainable path for the capital.

These solutions are urgently needed to avoid the catastrophe that Darundono says we are currently headed toward.

Related Articles:

Climate change to affect marine tourism

Jakarta Predicted to be Underwater By 2012

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Association promotes rubber for buildings

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor, West Java | Tue, 10/27/2009 10:38 PM

The construction of public facilities such as hospitals and schools should use rubber buffers to withstand tremors that occur during earthquakes to help minimize damage and casualties, a conference has concluded.

The International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) conference was held at the Salak Hotel in Bogor on Tuesday.

“The conference is aimed at creating architectural awareness, emphasizing the fact that there is a way to protect public facilities like hospitals and schools,” Abdul Azis S.A. Kadir, secretary-general to the IRRDB, told reporters.

He said the construction of public facilities could use components called natural rubber seismic bearings to minimize damage and save people’s lives during earthquakes. He said such construction techniques had been applied in the United States and Japan and would be suitable for Indonesia, where earthquakes are fairly common.

Abdul, a Malaysian national, said he hoped that Indonesia, the world’s biggest rubber producer, could use its assets to produce rubber buffers for constructing buildings.

DKP built 2,236 disaster-proof houses for fishermen

Antara, Tuesday, October 27, 2009 19:52 WIB

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - The Marine and Fisheries Department (DKP) has built 2,236 disaster-proof houses for poor fishermen in 55 districts and cities across Indonesia in 2009, an official said.

"The program was aimed at reducing the possible negative impact of climate change and natural disasters on the fishermen," Director of DKP`s Coastal and Sea Division, Subandono Diposaptono, said after attending a seminar about climate change conducted by Bali Collaboration for Climate Change Issue (KBPI) here on Tuesday.

Subandono said two types of disaster-proof houses were built, namely traditional and modern.

The modern type of houses were built in coastal areas where the risk of being engulfed by tsunami was low while the traditional type of houses were built in areas where the tsunami risk was high with waves that might reach a height of more than three meters.

"The traditional house is structured in such a way that it can withstand the horizontal pressure of a tsunami wave so that the building will only suffer minor damage. On normal days, tenants of traditional houses can use the space underneath the house for leisure activities, trading, repairing fish nets or weighing their fish catches," Subandono said.

He said averaging 27.5 square meters in width the traditional houses were built parallel with the probable direction of tsunami waves and in perpendicular lines to the coastline to minimize the pressure big waves on the building structures.

Building disaster-proof houses for fishermen had been a DKP program since year 2006. Up till 2008, the department had built 497 houses for fishermen in 18 districts and cities in Indonesia.

DKP provides the budget for house construction while the regional administrations provided the needed land.

"In 2009, we built 40 disaster-proof houses in each district or city where there were fishermen," Subandono said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

West Sumatra reconstruction to cost Rp7 trillion

Syofiardi B. Jb, The Jakarta Post, Padang | Mon, 10/26/2009 8:35 PM

The government has estimated that rehabilitation and reconstruction in the quake devastated province of West Sumatra will cost Rp 7 trillion (US$745 million).

“We have not set the actual budget for the rehabilitation and reconstruction program, but for the time being it may cost Rp 7 trillion,” Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono said Monday.

He said the government had declared the Sept. 30 earthquake, which killed over 1,100 people and destroyed 134,000 houses, a provincial disaster instead of a national disaster.

Agung and five other ministers visited Padang to observe the ongoing emergency response program in the quake-hit towns of Padang Pariaman and Padang ahead of the rehabilitation and reconstruction works that are expected to start on Nov. 1. The Cabinet members also heard the presentations of acting Governor Marlis Rahman on the progress of the emergency response program.

“We will report results of our visit to the President and hopefully he will support our proposal,” Agung said.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Minister vows to provide phone lines to remote villages

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/24/2009 7:32 PM

New Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring pledged on Saturday to provide phone connections to 25,000 remote villages in his first 100 days in office.

“Our target is reaching the 25,000 villages by phone in the coming three months,” Tifatul said on the sidelines of a blogger community get-together in Jakarta.

He said the government was working hard to meet the Universal Service Obligation (USO) standard, which includes phone connections in villages.

“In accordance with the USO, we have to build telephone lines in 32,874 villages. The President has asked me to set up phone connection in 25,000 outlying villages within the next three months,” Tifatul said.

State telecommunication company PT Telkom has managed to fulfill 46 percent of requests for fixed phone lines.

Huib Akihary: The Best of Both Worlds

Sara Veal, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/23/2009 12:10 PM

Huib Akihary: JP/J. Adiguna

In 1983, following a five-day voyage from Jakarta, Huib Akihary stood at the boat's bow at sunrise, watching the two points of the Bay of Ambon grow and gradually encircle him, welcoming him to his father's homeland.

When the boat finally arrived in Ambon, the then 29-year-old waited for the other passengers to disembark, as he had told his aunt he would be the last one off the boat.

"Then four police officers came to the boat and they were asking for me. I said, *I haven't done anything, just visiting my family'," Akihary says.

"*No, no problem,' they said. *Just your aunt has asked us to get you off the boat.' So I was escorted by them and met my aunt for the first time . then she told me that my uncles, cousins and nephews were also there . There were more than 40 people standing there, some of whom had traveled two days to Ambon."

This auspicious reception signaled an important step in Akihary's lifelong journey to understand his Moluccan heritage, leading him to become an expert on Indonesia and Holland's mutual architectural history, and culminating in his appointment as director of Museum Maluku, in the Netherlands, in March this year.

Akihary was born and raised in Holland by a Dutch mother and a Moluccan father. Although he grew up outside the Moluccan diasporic community, he was always interested in his father's culture and roots.

"My thinking and reasoning are Dutch, yet my feelings and emotions are Moluccan. Adat *tradition*, family matters, music, food and helping each other as much as possible are basic Moluccan cultural values and are very much part of my personal life. I try to incorporate that in my Western way of thinking and find a balance in both," he says.

Akihary has two teenage sons, with whom he says he shares Moluccan culture via literature, film, music and cuisine.

"I present it to them and they can choose by themselves if they want to absorb it or not," he says.

"In my case, if I have the name Akihary, I have to know where it comes from."

The name Akihary is well-known in Ambon and increasingly representative of Moluccans overseas. Akihary says many of his relatives in both Indonesia and the Netherlands are highly involved in their immediate community and the wider Moluccan diaspora, as businesspeople, teachers, solicitors and ministers. His cousin Monica Akihary is the lead singer of Boi Akih, a world jazz ensemble that performs Moluccan songs.

"We all share a mutual interest in our Moluccan culture and traditions wherever we live," he says. "As Monica and I play an important role in spreading and conserving Moluccan culture, our family supports us in every way."

Since his first visit to Indonesia in 1983, he has returned several times: in 1984 to research his thesis on the history of architecture of the city of Batavia between 1870 and 1942; in 1988 for a seminar on Indonesia and Holland's mutual architectural heritage; and in 1990 to conduct a five-year inventory of all the Portuguese and Dutch fortifications in the Moluccas, a project cancelled in 1991 for political reasons.

Last month, the Moluccan governor and diplomatic community invited Akihary, in his capacity as Museum Maluku director, to Ambon to organize a musical theater project, Paku Coklat, performed by the Moluccan Music Theatre Ensemble, and reportedly a sell-out success.

His position as director of Museum Maluku is one he has strived for since graduating as an art historian from the University of Amsterdam in 1986, the same year the museum was founded.

"I was involved with the museum since the start, as an adviser, as a member of committees and as chairman of the foundation of Friends of the Museum. In the 90s I was asked to organize a few exhibitions," he says.

"Under my direction and in close cooperation with the newly appointed curator Dr. Jet Bakels, a very experienced museum worker, the Museum Maluku will focus on a broader audience, broader than simply the Moluccan community in the Netherlands."

He says partners will include institutes and individuals worldwide that study Moluccan culture, such as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, government departments in Moluccan province and Moluccan cultural societies in Jakarta.

"It's important to join hands and strengthen the cultural identity of Moluccans wherever they live," he says, adding there are significant communities in California and Jakarta.

"I have a very active role now in preserving, discovering, documenting, registering and describing Moluccan culture... In short, safeguarding it for those who live abroad."

Although his focus is on Moluccan heritage, his doctoral research on Batavia means he is knowledgeable about Jakarta's architectural treasures, citing the city as a modern marvel, as well as a major example of Indonesian and Dutch mutual heritage.

"When you drive through Jakarta at night it's beautiful, with all the lights and all the high-rise buildings," he says.

"At present, these buildings, as well as shopping malls and complexes, have an international style. The interesting question is if modern Indonesian architecture and urban planning will find ways and means to develop its own Indonesian identity."

A unique Indonesian identity, he says, remains evident in the architectural remnants of Jakarta's past.

"The layout of Jakarta still shows the history of its growth since 1600, such as the town near Pasar Ikan with its Dutch layout of streets and canals *Kali Besar*," he says.

"This is why it makes me sad when I see that they are destroying a building without knowing its meaning or historical value."

So far, Akihary feels his greatest professional achievements have been his publications on Dutch colonial architecture in Indonesia, which he says have helped Indonesian architects in their urban planning, as well as architectural exhibitions he has participated in, such as at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

"But by far I am most proud of and feel very privileged to have the chance to work on and to promote the Moluccan culture as the new director of Museum Maluku in close cooperation with Moluccans worldwide. It's very rewarding in many ways."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Benowo residents advised not to drink `polluted' well water

Indra Harsaputra, THE JAKARTA POST, Surabaya | Fri, 10/23/2009 12:11 PM | East Java

Residents living near the Benowo dump site in Surabaya have been warned against consuming ground water from their wells, which the local environment agency said have been polluted by waste from the landfill.

"We have conducted several research projects on the residents' wells and found that their wells contained poisonous substances, which could endanger their health," East Java environment agency head Dewi Putriani said recently.

Speaking in Surabaya, East Java, she said water from the wells around the landfill site could not be consumed, as it could potentially cause brain cancer.

Dewi said the pollution was produced by alkali-tainted water from the garbage infiltrating the soil and then streaming into the river when it rained. "As well as polluting wells and rivers, the alkali can be absorbed by plant roots. It will be dangerous if alkali is absorbed by - for example - spinach, which is then consumed by people," she said.

"It will endanger their health, just as if they consume water from wells around the landfill," she added.

The pollution was actually detected in 2004, when fish in ponds around the landfill site were found dead. People around Benowo had previously protested against the moving of the garbage dump from Keputih to Benowo, but their demands went unheeded. Dewi said the condition of the Benowo landfill was getting worse as it had to hold all the garbage produced by some 3.7 million households in Surabaya.

The existence of the Benowo landfill is vital for city residents after the Keputih dump site in Surabaya was closed in 2001. Since then, all household garbage has been dumped at the Benowo landfill. The city's households produce 2,500 tons of garbage per day; however, Benowo can only accommodate 1,400 tons per day.

Dewi said this inability to manage the waste properly had caused residents' wells to become polluted by dangerous materials or liquids.

The Surabaya municipal administration has built waste processing installations and introduced several programs to alleviate the problem, including encouraging residents in the city to separate wet and dry garbage. However, the programs are not yet effective enough to overcome the city's waste disposal problem, as the volume of garbage continues to increase in line with the increasing number of local residents.

Surabaya waste and sanitation management head Aditya Wasita said, with its daily capacity of 1,400 tons of garbage, the 37,000-hectare Benowo landfill site was expected to be full within the next four or five years.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Families demand safety assurances amid more Papua shootings

Markus Makur, The Jakarta Post, Timika, Papua | Thu, 10/22/2009 8:28 AM

Security demand: Hundreds of women and children, families of men working for the US mining company PT Freeport Indonesia in Mimika, Papua, rally at Mimika Legislative Council office on Thursday, demanding security guarantees in the wake of a shooting incident that wounded two employees earlier this week. JP/Markus Makur

Hundreds of women and children, families of men working for US mining company PT Freeport Indonesia in Mimika, Papua, have demanded a security guarantee in the wake of a shooting incident that wounded two employees earlier this week.

They marched to the Regional Legislative Council office in Mimika and staged a rally questioning security measures that have failed to prevent more shootings near the company’s Grasberg mine in recent months.

Two miners were wounded when three security-escorted buses were ambushed between mile 41 and mile 42 of a road leading to the Grasberg mine, the world's largest gold and copper mine on Tuesday.

Police have said they were having difficulty with the terrain in the area where the shootings occurred.

The area is notorious for ambushes. Earlier this year, a 29-year-old Australian, an Indonesian security guard working for Freeport and a policeman were killed in separate attacks. In 2002, two American teachers and their Indonesian colleague were killed on the same stretch of road.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jakarta prepares 38,000 personnel ahead of floods

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 10/21/2009 4:40 PM

Entering the rainy season, the Jakarta administration has prepared 38,000 personnel from various agencies to be deployed in anticipation of the annual flooding of the city, Antara news agency has reported.

Jakarta Public Order Agency head Harianto Badjoeri said Wednesday personnel include members of the local disaster management board, social affairs agency, and the military and police.

The administration will also hold a weeklong disaster awareness campaign next week.

The administration has also ramped up the city's river dredging project in preparation for the peak of the rainy season, expected to hit the city within several weeks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Indonesia Hopes ‘Tourism Villages’ Will Empower Communities

The Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman, October 20, 2009

In an attempt to boost the tourism sector about 200 villages across the country are to be developed into “tourism villages” next year, with funding coming principally from the National Program for Community Empowerment, an official said on Monday.

“Each would-be village will be given funds ranging from Rp 80 million to Rp 100 million [$8,480 to $10,600],” said Winarno Sudjas, secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s Destinations Development Division.

The announcement came a day after an industry operator blamed the government for the nation’s poor showing in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009, which ranked Indonesia 81 out of 133 countries surveyed, suggesting that the country must do more to boost tourism.

According to the survey, which was conducted by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum, Indonesia trailed far behind Singapore, which was 10th, Malaysia at 32nd, Thailand 39th and Brunei 69th.

Indonesia fared slightly better than the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia, which finished 86th, 89th, and 108th, respectively.

The top three were Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

According to Sudjas, all villages in the archipelago may submit proposals to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to take part in the plan.

The proposals will be examined by a special team, which has the final say on which village receive funding.

Sudjas said the money would be used by villagers to construct tourist accommodations, train local youths to become guides, preserve and produce local dishes and fund other leisure activities.

“We want to empower the villages by helping them increase their potential and fix their shortcomings,” Sudjas said.

He said this program gave the villages more power to develop as they wished because the central government would provide funds for renovations, while also monitoring how the money was spent.

“We will not dictate to them. We’ll let them decide what they need and award funds based on their proposals,” he said. “We will just monitor them and watch their progress.”

He said the program had been in operation for two years. In 2008, 50 villages participated, with each receiving Rp 50 million. In 2009, the number of villages receiving the funds rose to 100.

“In Yogyakarta and Bantul, many villages have been developed into tourism villages and it has also helped villagers to earn bigger incomes,” he said.

“It means that we are empowering them. This is an effective way to boost tourism.”

The National Program for Community Empowerment is a government program to curb poverty in the country.

Based on the United Nations Development Program, about 37 million Indonesians live below the poverty line.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Study on the floor

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 10/19/2009 1:15 PM

Study on the floor: Students at Wojojati elementary school at Gondangwetan, Pasuruan, East Java, study while sitting on the floor on Monday morning as their collapsed school has not been repaired. Antara/Musyawir

Saturday, October 17, 2009

PMI launches cooperatives in flood areas

Hasyim Widhiarto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/17/2009 1:10 PM

The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Jakarta chapter, working in cooperation with the Netherlands Red Cross, on Wednesday launched the first of the city's community-based savings and loan cooperatives focused on working with residents in a flood-prone areas.

Sukarlan, the PMI Jakarta official heading the cooperative project, said the idea for the cooperatives came up when his organization realized that almost all disaster victims in Indonesia had a tendency to rely heavily on government financial assistance after disasters. "It is definitely a misconception if people think the government can cover all losses caused by disasters," he said.

"So, if people realize they live in a disaster-prone area, the only way they can insure themselves is to move to a safer place or save enough money before another disaster happens."

Run and managed by the local community, the new cooperative, named "Siaga Bersama" (ready together), was opened to serve residents of West Jakarta's flood-prone Rawa Buaya and Kedaung Kaliangke subdistricts.

Next week, a similar cooperative will be launched in Cawang, East Jakarta.

Prior to establishing the cooperatives, Jakarta PMI and the Netherlands Red Cross have (for two years) been running regular micro-finance training programs for residents, Sukarlan said.

"We first taught people in communities how to manage a small lending and savings groups. Once they are ready we help them establish a cooperative," he said, adding that he was expecting each cooperative to attract 2,000 members by next year.

Flooding has become an annual occurrence in Jakarta, with 40 percent of the city currently at or below sea level, and an outdated and poorly maintained drainage system.

The Jakarta administration has identified more than 70 flood-prone areas in the city.

Aside from floods, many areas in Jakarta are also vulnerable to fires. Data from the city's Fire Fighting and Disaster Mitigation Agency shows that Jakarta has 53 fire-prone areas - mainly in slum areas throughout the city's five municipalities.

With both floods and fires being everyday occurrences, any attempts to improve city residents' capacity to recover independently from such disasters have become increasingly important, critics say.

H. Chandra, the managing director of PT Reka Desa, the consultancy company hired to provide micro-finance training and to establish the cooperative system, was positive that the cooperatives would work.

"The most important thing is to encourage residents to utilize cooperatives as places to save money, not for borrowing," he said.

A cooperative is a joint-owned and member-controlled organization formed by a group of people to serve their economic interests.

According to data from the Jakarta Trade, Cooperatives and Small-and-Medium Enterprises Agency (KUMKP), there were more than 7,000 cooperatives registered in the city, but only 4,000 of them were active.

During the first six months of this year, the city's cooperatives booked a combined turnover of Rp 4.4 trillion (US$470.8 million).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

IFC to invest $400m to help 41 million Indonesians

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/15/2009 5:43 PM

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced Thursday a plan to invest up to US$400 million per year in a five-year program to improve the quality of life of 41 million Indonesians.

Adam Sack, the IFC's country manager, said the investment would address three main objectives: promoting sustainable urbanization, increasing rural incomes and reducing the impact of climate change.

“Our investment will focus on long-term financing, risk division and capital investment,” he told the press.

He added that the IFC’s strategies would combine investment and advisory services to expand access to financial services for the underserved.

“With this five-year plan, we expect to improve the quality of life of 41 million of Indonesians, facilitate US$13 billion of investments, and reduce 180 million tons of CO2-equivalent of greenhouse gases,” he said.

The initiative targets almost 18 percent of Indonesia’s population. According to the Central Statistic Agency (BPS), 32.5 million or 14.15 percent of Indonesia’s 230 million inhabitants live under the poverty line.

As of June 30, the IFC had committed US$968 million of investment in Indonesia, mostly in financial markets, agribusiness and manufacturing. (bbs).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Survey shows many collapsed buildings in Padang were poorly constructed

By Channel NewsAsia's Tan Yew Guan in Padang | Posted: 14 October 2009 0016 hrs

PADANG, Indonesia: A recent survey by the University of Indonesia has shown that most of the buildings that collapsed in Padang in the recent earthquake were poorly constructed.

Experts said that if the buildings were built according to construction codes, many lives would have been saved.

Driving through central Padang, it is not hard to spot buildings, still standing, right next to those brought down by the quake.

For example, the Ambacang Hotel, a Dutch colonial-era building, has become a symbol of the disaster in more ways than one. Its two-storey facade has been left standing, but the extension has collapsed.

Four floors were added to the two-storey structure when it was converted to an hotel. But while the facade stood the test, it is believed the additional load from the extension brought down the rest of the building during the tremblor.

Some 200 people lost their lives at this site alone. That accounts for nearly a quarter of the official death toll, which some said could have been avoided.

Professor Kerry Sieh, earthquake expert, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, said: "There are very specific things that communities can do on a local level, on the national level - to make it so we survive these events, so we do not see a whole classroom of students crushed under a building in Padang.

"None of that has to happen if people have enough foresight and vision, and if people have enough scientific information and engineering information. And if they have the economic wherewithal to do something about it."

Something was done seven years ago to prevent this when rules dictating quake-proof buildings were passed. Under those regulations, buildings in Padang are supposed to withstand three times the shock felt on September 30.

The Governor of West Sumatra Gumawan Fauzi admitted that enforcement has been lacking.

He said: "In the future, the government hopes to be more vigilant in handling the reconstruction of these damaged houses. The government would make sure that these houses meet the "Construction Code" guidelines and are strong enough to meet the impact of future earthquakes."

Experts have warned that a tremor far bigger than the last one is in the pipeline. They said that for West Sumatra, it is not a question of "if", but "when". - CNA/ms

Related Articles:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hundreds of water reservoirs in NTT run dry

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/13/2009 8:03 PM

More than 250 of 500 water reservoirs in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have run dry due to the prolonged dry season, prompting a water crisis in some areas of the province.

Temperatures in the province have reached 36 degrees Celsius.

“More than 250 reservoirs have no more water, forcing people to seek water several kilometers away from home,” Manu Dima, head of the provincial water and irrigation agency, said Tuesday.

NTT agriculture agency head Petrus Muga said the dry spell had hit the northern part of Flores Island, Lembata, West Manggarai, Alor and West Timor.

“The drought will threaten other areas such as the north coast of West Sumba and Southwest Sumba,” he said.

Purwanto, head of the Lasiana weather station in Kupang, said the dry spell and high temperatures were the result of a seasonal weather phenomenon.

“The rainy season will shift from November to December,” he added.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Artificial ground water recharge recommended

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 10/12/2009 10:05 AM

The Office of the State Minister for Research and Technology has developed Indonesia’s first artificial ground-water recharge system to cope with the declining volume of ground water in cities due to the increasing population.

Head of the ministry’s science and technology needs division, Teddy W. Subinda, told The Jakarta Post on Friday that the ministry had already built an artificial ground-water recharge system with a rechargeable capacity of 178 cubic meters per day.

The artificial ground water recharge system reaches 193 meters below the surface and is located under the ministry’s parking area. Teddy said it took up to Rp 300 million (US$31,844) to develop the technology.

“The capacity can be 100 times larger than the technology used to extract water from a depth of 2 to 3 meters,” he said.

“The recharging capacity will conserve underground water because it stored unused water from air conditioners and overflowing rain water infiltrating soils.”

Teddy said the artificial ground-water recharge development project started in March.

He added that although the government had guaranteed water resource conservation with Law No. 7/2004 on Water Resources, many city administrations in Indonesia had yet to issue bylaws prohibiting big buildings from using water extracted from two to three meters below the ground surface.

“Houses can use underground water extracted from two to three meter downs, but big buildings should not do so,” he said, adding that constructing a well two to three meters in depth would cost around Rp 3 million.

“Instead, artificial ground-water recharge is recommended for big buildings, as it won’t damage the environment,” he said.

He urged city administrations to issue the necessary bylaws, saying that this would reduce the possibility of land subsidence in cities across the country. He said the greater Jakarta area and other big cities like Semarang, Surabaya, Bandung and Medan were developing cities that needed special approaches to water exploitation, as well as conservation.

As the heart of the country’s business districts, Teddy said the greater Jakarta area population might reach 39 million by 2025.

Teddy said Jakarta’s population would be the highest, and might reach 13 million, followed by Bogor with 10 million, Tangerang’s population would account for 9.2 million while Bekasi’s population would hit 6.8 million.

Related Article:

Jakarta Predicted to be Underwater By 2012

Earthquake Preparation Pays off for Indonesian Village

Indonesian Village Mangopo Had No Fatalities, Unlike Other Nearby Villages

ABC News, By SIMON MONTLAKE, BANGKOK, Thailand, Oct. 11, 2009

International aid is flowing into quake-hit areas of Sumatra, Indonesia, as US troops join the effort to provide food, shelter, and medical care after last week's 7.6-magnitude earthquake.

In the worst-hit city of Padang, around 100,000 houses were severely damaged, while scores of public buildings collapsed, exposing shoddy construction. Indonesia's state news agency reported that the economic damage was estimated at over $200 million.

7.6 Quake Hits Padang: Residents look at the wreckage of a house in Padang, Oct. 1, 2009. Rescue teams struggled to find people trapped under debris. (Dadang Tri/Reuters)

More Photos ....

At the same time, stories are emerging of communities that responded to the quake with pre-arranged evacuation drills and were spared the worst. The same communities quickly sized up the damage and prepared for aid delivery and reconstruction, using the same disaster risk training.

It has been a bad few weeks for natural disasters in Asia. Typhoon Melor left a trail of destruction Thursday in central Japan and two undersea quakes triggered a tsunami scare for Vanuatu, though to the relief of residents only small waves hit the island.

Aid workers and experts on mitigating natural disasters say these events underline the need for rigorous preparation, including early warning systems and evacuation drills for areas at risk of tsunamis. While relief aid for stricken populations is essential, so too is investment in preparing communities for future disasters, particularly in urban quake zones.

The fact that so many buildings collapsed in Padang, which caused most of the deaths, is an indicator of poor preparation by a highly vulnerable city, says Sanny Jegillos, a regional coordinator for crisis prevention for the UN Development Programme in Bangkok.

"Padang is in close proximity to a major quake generator. It's not hindsight. It was a known risk," he says.

Amid complaints about the construction of schools, hotels and hospitals, the governor of West Sumatra pledged to fight for a new law that will require all new buildings to be built to survive a 8-magnitude quake, Reuters reported.

No Deaths in Prepared Village

In the village of Mangopo, north of Padang, around 90 percent of the 346 houses were damaged by the Sept. 30 quake. But nobody died. Instead, community leaders organized a swift evacuation to a designated site said Malka Older, director of programs in Indonesia for Mercy Corps, a US humanitarian agency which had helped train Mangopo and other at-risk villages.

"Everyone reacted very quickly because of the training and that's why no one died in that village," she says.

Other nearby villages that weren't part of the program suffered fatalities, she said. The training was partly a response to the risk of a tsunami, which didn't materialize this time. Each coastal village partners with an inland village for support in the event of a tsunami evacuation.

In the aftermath, villagers returned to their broken houses and began cleaning up. Households formed groups to distribute aid as it began to reach them from Padang, a one-and-a-half hour drive away.

Ms. Older said the mood in Mangopo was mostly upbeat, even though many were homeless. Residents are anxious to rebuild their houses, which are mostly bungalows of bricks and concrete without steel rebar.

If they are to withstand another earthquake, though, better construction is necessary, she said. The same goes for buildings in Padang.

"You can really tell where the construction was good and where it wasn't. The construction standards are not there. The accountability is not there," she says.

Related Article:

Better relief efforts in Indonesia this time round