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. …”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LIPI Tests Flood Water Processor

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 31 March, 2010 | 14:56 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Indonesian Institute of Sciences tomorrow will try to process flood water into drinkable water with a capacity of 10 liters per minute.

Researchers at the LIPI Physics Research Center, Perdamean Sebayang, said that the water filter superiority was that it has a rapid process with an increased number of filters.

“We also add pressure so even though there are additional filter tools, the process is still fast,” said Perdamean when contacted yesterday.

“The cost of the device is also cheaper compared to existing ones.”

The device measuring around 1 x 1.5 meter with a height of 1 meter could process around 40 percent of dirty water.

The dirty water is immediately thrown away so the machine can produce more clean water faster.

Flood water, he said, could be consumed if various pollutants inside it have been cleaned.

The device used contain a dirt filter for mud, and another filter for bacteria.

This device is expected to fulfill clean water needs, especially during floods.

Lack of clean water could also cause health and social vulnerability.

But, according to Perdamean, before being consumed, the produced clean water must go through an array of tests to assure that it is free from dangerous and poisonous waste.

Muljadi, another researcher in LIPI, said that the dirty water processing into drinkable water could reduce difficulties in providing clean water in areas impacted by floods or earthquake.

“This device could be the solution to clean water sustainability in Indonesia.”


Extreme Pollution of Pekalongan River

Tempo Interactive, Tuesday, 30 March, 2010 | 17:21 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Tegal: The Water Resources Management Body (BPSDA) has found an indication of extreme pollution in Pekalongan City and regency because of batik industry textiles colorings.

According to Pangestu Yudhoyono, the BPSDA Head of River Control and Utilization for the Pemali-Comal Section, the river condition is worse compared to others.

“The water in the river is not feasible for any use,” said Pangestu yesterday.

Pollution occured in four rivers, which are Tirto River (Pekalongan regency), Meduri, Banger, and Grogolan, in Pekalongan City area.

“The waste disposal of batik colorings around the river have happened for a long time,” he said.

As a consequence, the river could not be used to irrigate rice paddy fields or fish cultivation in the delta area.

The water in the four rivers has even halted shrimp production.

“There are no shrimp farmers because of the river pollution,” said Pangestu.

He asked the local Environment Office to rehabilitee the river water quality.

“Do not let industry ruin the environment,”

The Head of the Pekalongan Regency Environment Office, Jayin, confirmed the bad water quality in his area.

Currently, they are still trying to reduce waste disposal to the rivers.

“Several entrepreneurs have made waste disposal installations, meanwhile for home industry business, we are making these together,” he said.

According to Jayin, they need a long time to rehabilitate river water quality in his area.

Right now the institution is still educating batik entrepreneurs to realize the importance of safeguarding river environment balance in their area, especially for small entrepreneurs.

“By forming waste disposal treatment groups,” he said.


Related Article:

Finding a cure for Indonesia's sick river

Two scavengers search for plastic garbage in Citarum River, Baleendah in Bandung on Sunday. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has declared the 270 kilometer river as the world’s most polluted river. (Antara/Rezza Estily)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Floods in Karawang not yet recedes

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 03/27/2010 3:31 PM

Helping hand: Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring shakes hand with a resident during a visit to flood-hit Telukjambe subdistrict in Karawang. Tifatul handed over humanitarian assistance to the flood victims Saturday. – Antara/ M.Ali Khumaini|

Floods in Karawang have not shown signs of receding, with over 105,000 people still living in shelters built across the West Java town.

The regional social services agency data on Saturday revealed that floodwater from overflowing Citarum River inundated 30,652 houses in 10 districts across the regency. Telukjambe Timur district was the worst hit area, with over 17,600 families affected.

Earlier in the day Information and Communication Minister Tifatul Sembiring visited flood victims and handed over six tons of rice, 200 boxes of instant noddles, 300 boxes of mineral water, to flood victims through the local authorities.

Tifatul said a number of cellular operators such as Telkomsel, Telkom, XL, Indosat, Axis, and Smart also provided food supplies to the flood victims.

Nowhere to go: An aerial view of an inundated residential site in Karawang, West Java, from floodwater on Thursday. Heavy rain over the past few days caused Citarum River to overflow, severely inundating most areas in Karawang. Poor forest conversion in area encompassed by a river in the regency also contributed to floods. Antara/Saptono

Related Article:

Karawang floods inundate 30,652 homes

Friday, March 26, 2010

Indonesia on Shakier Ground, Experts Warn

Jakata Globe, Nurfika Osman, March 26, 2010

Students in Banda Aceh have been participating in exercises, to increase their ability to face earthquakes and tsunamis. (Antara Photo/Ampelsa)

Massive earthquakes over the past few years have increased the volatility of the tectonic plates beneath the archipelago, experts have warned. They have called for more quake-proof buildings to withstand the heightened threat.

“We are more at risk as the ground becomes more vulnerable and the effects of earthquakes are going to be more devastating,” Mulyo Haris Pradono of the Earthquake Engineering and Disaster Mitigation Unit at the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) said on Friday.

He was referring to peak ground acceleration, a measure of earthquake acceleration on the ground and an important calculation for earthquake engineering.

Mulyo said the PGA in the southern part of Sumatra, Java, North Sulawesi and Papua was the highest in Indonesia.

The assessment is based on research conducted in 2002 and the data is expected to be updated in 2012.

Massive quakes last year that heighten the PGA included the 7.3-magnitude temblor in West Java on Sept. 2, the 7.6-magnitude quake that rocked West Sumatra on September 30 and the 7.2 tremor in West Papua in January.

According to the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), there are 23 earthquake-prone provinces in the country, including Aceh, West Sumatra, West Java, East Java, Bali, West Papua and Papua.

Mulyo said that as increased ground movement was inevitable, the only solution was to build quake-proof buildings in vulnerable areas.

“We are still conducting in-depth research and are assisting West Sumatra to build safer buildings with help from Japan,” he said.

“The point is that now we have to be more aware and prepare for earthquakes.”

He said the primary challenge was the lack of public awareness and effective regulations governing safe construction as people continued to build unsafe structures because they were cheaper.

Fumihiko Imamura, from Japan’s Tohoku University, said the BPPT and Japan had surveyed collapsed buildings in Padang.

“We concluded that many mistakes occurred in the structural planning of the buildings and homes,” Imamura said.

“In order to fix this we need not only a scientific approach but also a social and cultural approach to convince people that they need to live in a safer place to reduce the hazard.”

The two countries last year established a four-year research program called Multidisciplinary Hazard Reduction from Earthquakes and Volcanoes in Indonesia, in an effort to minimize the impact of disasters.

Fourteen institutions from both nations are involved in the joint research.

Come clean

Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 03/26/2010 5:35 PM | Jakarta

Come clean: Jakarta government employees hang two containers carrying 20 cubic meters of garbage in front of the National Monument in Central Jakarta. The display marked the launch of to promote a clean city by Governor Fauzi Bowo on Friday. - JP/Indah Setiawati

New approach to water management called for

Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 03/26/2010 11:14 AM

The city administration should protect water from commodification in an effort to secure citizens’ access to clean water as a human basic need, experts say.

Nila Ardhianie, the director of the Amrta Institute for Water Literacy, and Riant Nugroho from the city’s water regulatory body said the city’s decision to hand over water management to private firms more than ten years ago was a mistake.

Nila said the administration’s decision to hand water management to two foreign companies in 1998 heralded the commodification of water.

“Water management should be a semi-public system because it’s a basic human need,” Nila said.

The city is tied into a 25-year contract with private water operators PT Aetra Air Jakarta, which serves the city’s eastern parts, and PT PAM Lyonnaise (Palyja), which serves the western parts.

Problems of lack of access to clean water in some areas keep surfacing, as do complaints from residents in North Jakarta who don’t have 24-hour access to piped water.

According to city-owned water company PAM Jaya’s latest report, the total number of piped water customers was 795,149, a 70 percent increase from the 468,070 customers in 1998, when water management was handed to Palyja and Aetra.

Riant said, however, that returning the responsibility for water management to the city was not a good option because of the possibility of political agendas affecting service.

“The city has to look for a third option, a public partnership,” he said Riant said that if PAM Jaya worked with their customers in managing piped water by going public, the company would be run professionally because they would have to answer to the public. Under the present structure, the two operators shoulder the cost of infrastructure, which is later passed on to customers through higher tariffs, he said.

Currently, the city and the two companies use a water charge and a water tariff system because investors wanted a risk-free investment.

Nila and Riant agreed that the double financing scheme created problems in the effort to provide clean water for low-income families. The water charge is the price PAM Jaya pays operators to supply water to households. The water tariff is the charge levied to customers.

Riant said problems began when the water charge was higher than the water tariff, which used a cross-subsidy system. The gap, he said, would force PAM Jaya to be in debt to the private operators.

“Under this system, an increase in services for the poor will increase the city’s burden,” he said.

The water charge, he said, increased regularly because it was based on macro-financial factors such as inflation, not the performance of the operators.

Palyja spokeswoman Meyritha Maryanie denied that her company was too profit-oriented, saying after 12 years of investing in the country, the company had not broken even on its total capital investment.

“In 1998, there were only 9,500 low income customers [who pay Rp 1,050 per cubic meter of water]. Now we have over 82,000 customers, an increase of almost 800 percent,” she said.

Indonesia Declares Karawang Floods ‘Not National Disaster’

Jakarta Globe, Camelia Pasandaran, March 25, 2010

Water flowing from the Jatiluhur Reservoir in Purwakarta, West Java, on Thursday. The reservoir is near Karawang, which has been inundated by flooding in recent days. (Antara Photo)

The government on Wednesday maintained that flooding in Karawang, West Java, was not a national disaster but was a local one, despite thousands of homes having been partially inundated for days after the Citarum River overflowed its banks.

Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono described the Karawang flooding, which has seen more than 6,000 houses partially submerged under up to four meters of water, as “a local disaster, not a national one.”

“But President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the central government to give more attention to the disaster,” Agung said in a statement on the ministry’s Web site.

The Karawang flooding resulted in more than 50,000 people being relocated to drier ground in trucks and rubber boats.

Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al’Jufrie said the government had already provided aid and would provide more.

“Today [Thursday] we gave them Rp 500 million [$55,000],” he said.

This was in addition to Rp 200 million that had been given several days ago, Salim said. The amount of monetary aid would eventually total about Rp 1 billion and items such as tents, food and blankets would also be provided, he said.

The rest of the aid is expected to be disbursed over the next few days, he said.

“We will reconstruct the destroyed houses,” Salim said. “The local government will help.”

He added that the funding would come from the regional budget.

Salim blamed the floods on torrential rains over the past two months, which have swollen the rivers in the area.

“I hope that the rainfall and the reservoir levels will decrease,” he said.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Remaining relief funds for dam bust victims to be distributed

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang | Thu, 03/25/2010 6:51 PM

The South Tangerang municipal administration will soon distribute the rest of relief funds amounting to Rp 1.5 billion (US$164,000) to Situ Gintung dam burst victims exactly one year after the tragedy.

“To distribute the rest of the funds, the administration will have to issue a municipal regulation,” Ahadi, assistant to the municipal administration for governance and welfare said Thursday.

He expects acting mayor MH Shaleh to sign the decree soon so that the distribution can take place on March 27.

The left-over funds cannot be transferred without clear regulations because the administration will have to report it to the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), Ahadi said.

Although Situ Gintung survivors have been enjoying public attention since the tragedy, but for most of them, there are no clear signs of permanent housing or sustainable funds on the horizon until the administration told them to leave temporal shelters at Wisma Kerta Mukti in November.

Since the collapse of the dam that killed 100 residents in March 27 last year, the municipal administration has collected a total of Rp 6.7 billion from donors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lunch is almost ready

The Jakarta Post, Tue, 03/23/2010 4:39 PM

Lunch is almost ready: A resident cooks in an area inundated with floodwater in Dayeuhkolot, Bandung in West Java, on Tuesday. Heavy rains over several days caused the Citarum River to burst its banks, inundating seven subdistricts in the South Bandung area. Access from Bandung city to Bandung regency had been cut. Antara/Rezza Estily

Household waste spoils Pamurbaya’s beauty

Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya | Fri, 03/19/2010 9:47 AM

Full of garbage: Plastic trash litters the mangrove forest in eastern Surabaya. The garbage is dumped by people living along the Surabaya River. (JP/Indra Harsaputra)

Early in 2010, Surabaya Mayor Bambang Dwi Hartono inaugurated a conservation and ecotourism zone on the eastern coast of Surabaya known as Pamurbaya.

However, it is hard work changing the habits of local people who are used to dumping rubbish into a nearby river, covering the coastline with plastic waste.

Dimas, a photographer working for the East Java Traveler magazine, was amazed to see the coastal scenery at sundown. “It’s a fascinating view. I could see an expanse of mangrove trees along the shore, glowing in yellowish hues in the setting sun,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.

He visited Pamurbaya with a group of journalists and several researchers from the Foundation for Nature Conservation and Education (Yapeka), which has partnered with the Surabaya city administration to develop Pamurbaya.

But the natural beauty of Pamurbaya has been spoiled — as Dimas discovered — by heaps of garbage in the coastal areas where the Surabaya River empties into the sea.

“I’m longing to enjoy the Surabaya landscape without rubbish. I thought this conservation area was free from waste, yet it’s not far different from the city’s garbage-strewn traditional markets,” he added.

The accumulation of waste causes the death of some full-grown mangroves as it hampers sunlight penetration and interferes with the process of oxygen absorption by their roots. Besides, plastic swathing frequently stops the growth of shoots at the base of the trees, thus slowing down mangrove regeneration.

Executive director of Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton), Prigi Arisandi, said Pamurbaya’s natural environment had changed since the Surabaya administration issued its Regional Regulation No.23/1993, turning the coast into a development zone. Its mangrove forests and brackish water ponds were converted into settlements.

“Shortly after the regulation was announced, this zone was transformed into a housing area complete with shopping facilities and schools. So far, many housing developers have been attracted to building housing complexes on the waterfront,” noted Prigi.

Prigi added that housing construction prompted local people to use vacant land for business and settlement purposes following sedimentation in Pamurbaya, since the width of the area increased by between 2 and 4 kilometers from 1986 to 1996.

This land reclamation has endangered the existence of several wildlife species in Pamurbaya. The coastal birds now under the threat of extinction include egrets, sandpipers, plovers, and white eyes.

“Moreover, the increasing waste along the river basins of Brantas in Malang, Kediri, Mojokerto and Surabaya combined with the lack of public awareness on the need to avoid the disposal of garbage into rivers has posed a serious problem to the Pamurbaya zone,” he indicated.

Bambang said that to promote the restoration of Pamurbaya’s mangrove forest, the city administration had for two years made various conservation efforts, including the formulation of a regional regulation on the Surabaya spatial layout plan (RTRW), in which Pamurbaya was designated as a conservation zone.

“The RTRW rule serves as the regional government’s tool to save mangrove land from housing development. From 1972 to 2009, Pamurbaya’s land area expanded by 176 hectares, which private circles are now eagerly eyeing for settlement,” he pointed out.

Bambang revealed that before the endorsement of the regulation, the National Land Affairs Agency (BPN) had been requested not to issue certificates for housing construction and ownership in the new areas formed by sedimentation in Pamurbaya, while a proposal was forwarded to the Office of the State Minister for Environment Affairs to make Pamurbaya a protected mangrove zone.

The proposed protected zone covers almost 2,500 hectares. Of the area, around 50 hectares in three districts, Rungkut, Gununganyar and Sukolilo, will be the core zone of conservation, almost 390 hectares will serve as a buffer zone and close to 430 hectares will become a cultivation zone.

Meanwhile, 1,585 hectares in Keputih sub-district, Sukolilo, are still under study.

According to him, several programs related to the low public awareness of proper garbage disposal practices would continue to be implemented. On top of preventing erosion, expanding urban green space and increasing the catch of local fishermen, Pamurbaya’s mangrove forest is also richer in biodiversity than most conservation areas in Southeast Asia.

Pamurbaya, for instance, has 15 natural mangrove species. In fact, Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve in Jakarta only has six species and Sungei Buloh Conservation Zone in Singapore only nine species of mangroves.

A researcher from Yapeka, Ahmad Suwandi, said Pamurbaya had also become the habitat of 53 species of insects, 83 species of birds, including migratory birds passing from New Zealand to Siberia, and seven species of primates.

“These Pamurbaya primates are interesting to note as many other mangrove forests usually have just one to two species. In Pamurbaya, I can still see long tailed monkeys hunting with their tails,” he continued. They put their tails into water and when crabs pinch, the tails are jerked up and the crabs are caught. “It’s very natural, far from imitating human behavior,” he added.

Suwandi acknowledged that in spite of the various constraints, the local government’s intention to develop Pamurbaya into a conservation zone constituted an advanced step to reduce the impact of global warming.

Head of the Surabaya City Planning Agency Tri Rismaharini said a regional budget of Rp 3 billion would be provided for the establishment of a Mangrove Information Center in Pamurbaya to show the regional administration’s commitment to nature conservation.

The Mangrove Information Center (MIC) planned to be developed in East Java is on the same lines as has been promoted in Bali to support the island’s mangrove ecosystem.

Indonesia Gets $100 Million to Improve Java-Bali Power Distribution Systems

Asia Development Bank, 23 March 2010

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Agence Française de Développement are providing $100 million in loans to help Indonesia overhaul a key power distribution network in a bid to save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The ADB Board of Directors today approved a loan of $50 million for the Java-Bali Electricity Distribution Performance Improvement Project. The state-owned French development agency is providing a cofinancing loan of the same amount, which will be administered by ADB.

The project will rehabilitate the overburdened distribution network of the two islands, as well as supporting the introduction of energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes. The measures will help reduce peak power load demand and system losses, and contribute to sizeable cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. It will support PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara’s (State Electricity Corporation [PLN]) plan to invest about $1.2 billion in efficiency investments in the distribution sector between 2010 and 2014.

“The project will reduce the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 330,000 tons per year, while the substantial energy savings and freeing up of 200 megawatts of equivalent distribution system capacity will allow the state electricity corporation to connect about 1.2 million additional customers to the Java-Bali network,” said Sohail Hasnie, Principal Energy Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

To make energy savings of 400 gigawatt-hours worth an estimated $60 million a year, the project will reconfigure electrical equipment, reconductor or replace old overhead distribution lines and voltage transformers, and introduce new switching stations and capacitors. The distribution of up to 500,000 quality compact fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes in remote areas will help demonstrate the energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction benefits of efficient lights, which last far longer and consume much less energy than commonly used incandescent bulbs.

The project is expected to be eligible for carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, and carbon dioxide cuts could generate close to $200,000 a year in credits for the next 5-7 years, paving the way for potential nationwide distribution of the fluorescent lamps. The value of avoided carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the project is estimated to be around $3.5 million a year.

"Indonesia recently announced that it plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 26% by the year 2020 so PLN and ADB, together with the Government of Indonesia, view this project as a step towards meeting this goal," said Mr. Hasnie.

Indonesia’s energy demand has risen sharply in recent years, but investment in new capacity has not kept pace, resulting in regular power outages in Bali and Java, and up to 90 million people - or 38% of the population - still lack access to electricity. The economy relies on costly fuel oils for over 30% of its generation needs, limiting the government’s ability to fund new infrastructure, and putting Indonesia among the top 20 polluters in the world.

PLN is now planning to sharply expand the use of coal for power generation to reduce reliance on imported oil in the short term, and the project will help offset some of the new emissions. Once the conservation and efficiency benefits of the project are proven, it will be scaled up into a sector-wide initiative, funded by a multitranche financing facility.

ADB’s loan, from its ordinary capital resources, has a 25-year term, including a five-year grace period, with interest determined in accordance with its LIBOR-based lending facility. The Agence Française de Développement loan has a 15-year term, including a five-year grace period, with interest set in accordance with the Euro Interbank Offered Rate. A $1 million grant from the multidonor Clean Energy Fund under the ADB-administered Clean Energy Financing Partnership will finance the distribution of the fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes, while the state electricity corporation will provide $19 million equivalent, for a total project cost of $120 million.

PLN is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion by May 2012.

About ADB

Ban Ki-moon: Don't wait for disaster

The Jakarta Post

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations, New York | Tue, 03/23/2010 11:48 AM | Opinion

No country can afford to ignore the lessons of the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti. We cannot stop such disasters from happening. But we can dramatically reduce their impact, if the right disaster risk reduction measures are taken in advance.

A week ago I visited Chile's earthquake zone and saw how countless lives were saved because Chile's leaders had learned the lessons of the past and heeded the warnings of crises to come.

Because stringent earthquake building codes were enforced, much worse casualties were prevented. Training and equipping first responders ahead of time meant help was there within minutes of the tremor. Embracing the spirit that governments have a responsibility for future challenges as well as current ones did more to prevent human casualties than any relief effort could.

Deaths were in the hundreds in Chile, despite the magnitude of the earthquake, at 8.8 on the Richter scale, the fifth largest since records began. In Haiti, a less intense earthquake caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Haiti had non-existent or un-enforced building codes, and very poor preparedness.

The lessons are universally applicable. No country is immune from disaster, be it earthquakes or floods, storms or heatwaves. More and more intense natural disasters are affecting all five continents, we believe as a result of climate change. Many of the world's poorest people live in high-risk densely populated cities in flood or earthquake zones, or both.

The culture of disaster risk reduction must spread. I am encouraged that we already have a head start in this regard.

The Hyogo Framework for Action, a 10-year plan to make the world safer from disasters triggered by natural hazards, was adopted by 168 governments in 2005.

Hyogo gives national authorities a blueprint to assess and reduce risks through planning, training, and better public education. For example, making sure that schools, hospitals, and other key public infrastructure meet certain safety standards.

Based on the Hyogo Framework, the UN has made disaster risk reduction a priority. I have appointed a Special Representative for implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action. Last year I launched the first global assessment report on disaster risk reduction in Bahrain.

There has been progress. Bangladesh lost more than 500,000 people during Cyclone Bhola in 1970. It subsequently built 2,500 cyclone shelters on elevated concrete platforms and trained more than 32,000 volunteers to help in evacuations. When Cyclone Sidr struck in 2007 with an enormous sea surge, the death toll was less than 4,000. Cyclone Nargis, a similar event in unprepared Myanmar in May 2008, cost 140,000 lives.

Cuba weathered four hurricanes in 2008. It sustained US$9 billion of physical damage but very few lives were lost.

The evidence is overwhelming. Yet the lessons of these disasters are forgotten with depressing speed. Many governments have failed to follow through on the practical measures Hyogo proposes.

Some states argue that they cannot afford to embrace the prevention model. I say no country can afford to ignore it.

We know prevention actually saves governments money in the long run. When China spent $3.15 billion on reducing the impact of floods between 1960 and 2000, it averted losses estimated at about $12 billion.

Similar savings have been recorded in Brazil, India, Vietnam and elsewhere.

Everyone has a role to play.

Governments, central and local, have to do what it takes to make communities able to cope with both continuing challenges and sudden shocks.

In flood and earthquake-prone areas, the solution is to enact and enforce building regulations. For flood prone areas, it's to move or improve squatter settlements, restore natural coastal barriers such as mangrove swamps, provide more suitable land and better infrastructure for the urban poor and install effective early warning systems.

These measures will keep many thousands of people alive who may otherwise perish. The UN is ready to help governments build preparedness at the country and regional levels.

Donor nations need to fund disaster risk reduction and preparedness measures. Adaptation to climate change in particular means investing in systems for disaster reduction, preparedness and management.

The Chile and Haiti earthquakes showed us once again why action before disasters makes all the difference. To prevent natural hazards turning into disasters, we must all act sooner and act smarter.

The writer is secretary-general of the United Nations.

Related Article:

Handbook for Reconstructing after Natural Disasters

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Speaker: ‘We all need to rethink the way we deal with water’

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Mon, 03/22/2010 9:34 AM

Prof. Hubert Gijzen (Photo: Ms. Siti Rachmania/UNESCO Jakarta)

Every March 22 the world commemorates World Water Day and this year the theme is “Clean Water for a Healthy World”. The world is currently facing multiple problems impacting access to clean water including climate change and rapid population growth. In recognition of World Water Day, The Jakarta Post’s Evi Mariani interviewed UNESCO Regional Director and Representative Prof. Hubert Gijzen, who formerly taught as a professor at the UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education, in Delft, The Netherlands. Below are some excerpts from the interview.

Question: What is the meant by World Water Day, and what should people know about water?

Answer: World Water Day has been observed since 1993, following the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, which designated March 22 of each year as World Water Day. This was done in recognition of the key importance of water for people, for the environment and for all life on this planet.

While generally our daily relation to water is focused on the uses and functions of water for our society and our economy, we must not forget that also nature, the environment and biodiversity are sustained by the vast freshwater resources on earth.

World Water Day is therefore meant to serve as a reminder to governments, to the private sector and to the general public of the importance to achieve access to safe and clean water for all people, and of all other important functions of water, while also managing water to ensure the long-term sustainable use of water for both people and the environment.

It also reminds us of the long way we still have to go to achieve this. Today, many of the world water resources are highly polluted, and/or becoming depleted. At the same time there are almost 1 billion people that lack access to safe water, while the number of people without access to appropriate sanitation services amounts to a daunting 2.4 billion.

This year’s theme is “Clean water for a healthy world”. What does water have to do with health?

Water is life, but on the other hand I should add that water is also a major killer. Every year several million people die from water-borne diseases, and these are mostly children under five years of age. The main culprits are pathogens, bacteria and parasites, which have been brought into the water from fecal contamination, causing diarrhea, which if not treated in a timely manner may lead to death due to dehydration.

So, indeed, there is a direct relationship between water and health, but access to safe water is not enough. It needs to be accompanied by education and awareness-raising on hygiene and health issues.

There is a growing notion among people that fresh water is getting scarcer. Is this true?

The total amount of water on earth remains basically the same. Water, however, moves in a hydrological cycle, in total about 40,000 km3 per year, and this determines when and where there will be water and in what amounts. This has been the case for many millions of years, but over more recent time spans, say in the past 50 years, the impact of people on water has become visible in two distinct ways. First, the combination of rapid population growth, urbanization, industrialization and higher standards of living has lead to more consumption in general, and of water in particular.

I estimate that world wide, less than 20 percent of all domestic and industrial wastewater receives some kind of treatment before its disposal into surface waters. This means that every day, more than 2 million tons of sewage and other effluents are dumped into the world’s waters.

The problem is much worse in developing countries where more than 90 percent of raw sewage and 70 percent of untreated industrial wastes are discharged into surface waters, and the results can be seen. Take a look at the water resources in and around Jakarta for instance. There is indeed no clean freshwater resource available anymore.

The emerging water crisis is not merely one of insufficient water quantity, but it is further aggravated by severe water quality destruction.

Second, there is the much-debated phenomenon of climate change. It is generally accepted that climate change is the main trigger behind the increase in extreme weather events, leading to a sharp increases in floods and draughts.

In developing countries, including Indonesia access to clean water is directly related to poverty. How can we ensure to make clean water accessible to all?

Indeed, water is directly related to poverty, and in that sense to the general wellbeing of people. Poor people generally pay much more for safe drinking water than the middle class living in cities and having access to municipal water supply services; this means that a disproportional share of the family income goes to the purchase of drinking water, but it also explains why poor people easily revert back to unsafe sources of water for potable use.

On top of this comes the effect of ever-increasing water quality deterioration, which jeopardizes food security and livelihoods, again with the poor being most affected. This is in fact what is meant by the term “poverty trap”. This is also why water needs specific attention when we talk about the achievement

of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Water relates not only to poverty (MDG 1), but also poor water and sanitation services (MDG 7) lead to students dropping out of school (MDG 2), especially among girls (MDG 3), and it also leads to increased under-5 mortality and other major diseases (MDGs 4 and 6).

In order to address these challenges and to break the poverty trap, 24 different UN agencies joined forces to form UN Water, which brings together a wide range of expertise and capacities in all fields of water, related to food production, hygiene and health, education, the environment and many other dimensions of water.

In my view the key challenge for UN Water in cooperation with governments all over the world will be to revisit the way we have been managing our water resources. This is a challenge of developed and developing countries alike. It seems we need to rethink the way we deal with water, both in developing and developed countries.

Related Articles:

Program to change our water ways

Integrated water management ‘crucial’ to resolving snags

Prof. Hubert Gijzen - New Director UNESCO Jakarta Office

Government Asked to be Serious about Sun Storms

Tempo Interactive, Monday, 22 March, 2010 | 19:27 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Padang:The West Sumatra provincial government has been asked to be serious about the sun storm which is predicted to hit the area between 2012 and 2015. The West Sumatra branch of the Indonesian Geologists Association coordinator, Ade Edward, said the preparation includes mitigation to reduce the disaster’s impacts. “The sun storm may trigger natural disasters, such as volcanic activities, tectonic earthquakes, and extreme weather conditions, including in West Sumatra,” he said yesterday.

When disaster strikes and power and telephone lines are down, Ade assumes that disaster management agencies will not be able to use standard mechanisms. “As such, the disaster mitigation system must be adjusted to anticipate the negative effects of the sun storm,” he concluded.


World Water Day: Why business needs to worry

BBC News, VIEWPOINT, by Peter Brabeck-Letmanthe, Chairman, Nestle S.A.

Global water requirements ... will be 40% greater than what can currently be sustainably supplied

Monday is World Water Day, but I suspect relatively few will have noticed.

While the world is rightly moving to address the challenges presented by climate change and depleting supplies of fossil fuels, the same awareness and consensus does not exist when it comes to addressing our usage of water. Yet the harsh fact is that we will probably run out of water long before we run out of fuel.

We need to act fast, now.

Most people equate water consumption with what they use in their homes and places of work, but the challenge facing the globe goes much, much further than that. The 2030 Water Resources Group, a collaboration between the private and social sectors to discover solutions to combat water scarcity, estimates that global water requirements will grow by over 50% over the next 20 years. Such levels of usage will be 40% greater than what can currently be sustainably supplied.

Of course this global figure is an aggregation: at a more local level the situation is far worse. For example, by 2030 one third of the global population, mainly concentrated in developing countries, will have only half the amount of naturally renewed water available they need.

More than tap

Efficiency in water usage is not improving fast enough

What most consumers might not be aware of is that agriculture accounts for 70% of global water usage today, and how the need to feed the growing population of the world will put an even greater strain on already scarce water resources.

And in recent years food and water supplies have also been significantly affected by the use of agricultural land and resources on the production of biofuels.

The 2030 Water Resources Group also predicts that industrial use of water will almost double by 2030. It currently accounts for 16% of total usage - more than half of it for energy production - and this will grow to a projected 22% by 2030 with China alone accounting for 40% of the additional demand.

The challenge facing governments, businesses and - arguably - all of us, is how to close the gap in supply in a way that is both environmentally sustainable and economically viable. At the moment we are coping by 'borrowing' water supplies from non-replenishable aquifers or from water reserved for environmental needs, an approach which is clearly not a long-term solution.

Crop per drop

Efficiency lies at the heart of debate, just as with climate change. Yet while great strides have been made around carbon, the track record of water efficiency from both agriculture and industry does not inspire confidence: between 1990 and 2004 the annual rate of efficiency improvement in both sectors was approximately only 1%.

Agricultural productivity has the potential therefore to play a fundamental role and increasing the "crop per drop" is vital, particularly in the developing world.

There are measures such as no-till farming, improved drainage and utilisation of the best seeds that may even have a positive return for farmers. The water cost curve of the 2030 Water Resources Group shown in this document provides the tools for comprehensive, cost effective strategies.


Within an overall strategy, the buyers of the farmers' produce can also play their part by offering their suppliers training, technical assistance and even microfinance to help them improve water efficiency. This is an approach we have taken at Nestle where, for example, we provide more than $30m worth of micro-credit loans yearly to more than 600,000 farmers worldwide.

Just as microfinance can help farmers, policymakers, financiers and the private sector can do more to ensure that those willing to improve their water footprint at the macro level are given the opportunity - and capital - to do so.

Efficiency must also be a focus for industry and those responsible for planning and managing economic development. Companies and governments are often quick to trumpet their energy efficiency achievements, but too few have taken the same approach with water.

Water shortages are more pressing than climate change

The sooner governments, industry and consumers start to see the links between energy, food and water security, and how policies in one area affect another, the more likely it is that water scarcity will get the profile it deserves and that we start acting decisively to assure the sustainability of humankind's most precious resource, water.

Related Articles:

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Nestlé cultivates 140,000 disease-resistant cocoa trees

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Filthy Ciliwung gets one-day cleanup, fish added

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 03/21/2010 4:21 PM

In recognition of World Water Day, which falls on March 22, groups of residents gathered Saturday in an effort to help clean the heavily polluted Ciliwung, one of the largest rivers in Jakarta.

Participants - stationed on its banks and in boats that traveled along the Ciliwung between Balekambang subdistrict in East Jakarta to Rawajati subdistrict in South Jakarta - collected piles of garbage, mostly plastic.

"How can we clean this river? It could take years," one participant said while looking desperately at the mess.

While traveling in the dinghies, participants noted the massive amount of plastic bags, diapers and assorted trash in the water, as if they were racing with the boats.

Another resident, Umar Fauzi, who took part in the cleanup said the program was a waste of money because hardly made a dent on garbage filling the heavily polluted river.

As part of the event, participants planted trees and released fish at several locations along the river.

In Rawajati a stage and several booths had been set up with an exhibition featuring recycled products and sponsor companies' displays.

The event was attended by Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto, Deputy Jakarta Governor for Industry, Trade and Transportation Sutanto Suhodo and representatives from the Environment Ministry.

"I hope this event teaches Jakartans not to pollute rivers," Jakarta Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) chief Peni Susanti said.

If people in Jakarta cared about water and preserving their environment, water quality in Jakarta could be improved, she said.

However, when asked what programs her agency was running to keep the Ciliwung clean and to prevent residents from throwing garbage into the river, Peni could not provide clear details, saying only she expected residents to monitor and remind one another not to throw their garbage into the river.

"We only assist the community and teach them how to make things from garbage, and educate children, preparing them to become water ambassadors," she said.

All communities involved could continue to collect garbage from the river and preserve the trees they had planted, Peni said.

However, despite its aims, the event itself also added to garbage pollution around the Ciliwung with straws from soft drinks and meal containers provided spilling over from trash cans and nobody attempting to clean them up.