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. …”

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pertamina`s pipeline in Tanjung leaking

Indonesiaviews, July 30, 2010 – 10:38 am

Tanjung, South Kalimantan (ANTARA News) – The pipeline of state oil and gas company PT Pertamina in Tanjung, Maliau village, Jaro subdistrict, South Kalimantan, developed a leak and scores of barrels of oil submerging 15 houses.

The pipeline developed a leak on Saturday (July 24), forcing many of the residents to move to higher ground, ANTARA learned here on Thursday.

The leak developed following pumpings in Maliau village, but as the pipeline was already too old, the oil leak developed. Some 149 barrels of oil which was supposed to be sent to the Balikpapan plant, became wasted with Pertamina suffering a loss of hundreds of billions of rupiah.

“The people living in the oil spil had been given a compensation for food, three meals a day, because it is strictly forbidden to use fire for cooking in the area,” a local villager said Thursday.

Noor Erfansyah, spokesman for PT Pertamina of Tanjung said he did not have an idea about the loss caused by the leak in Maliau village.

He also said that some of the pipelines of PT Pertamina in Tanjung located in four different blocks, namely Tepian Timur, Kambitin, Tanjung and Warukin, were already too old.

Preventive maintenance of the old pipelines is therefore conducted for 12 to 15 days each month, in addition to pumping operations.

According to regulations, 25 meters on the left and right sides of the pipelines no houses are allowed, but the fact shows that many of the local residents built houses right above the pipelines.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

UN declares access to clean water a human right

Yahoo News, 28 July 2010

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The UN General Assembly on Wednesday recognized access to clean water and sanitation as a human right.

Egyptian girls fill water containers from a cistern delivering drinking water at al-Rahawe village, some 40 kilometres northeast Cairo, in May 2010. The UN General Assembly on Wednesday recognized access to clean water and sanitation as a human right. (AFP/File/Khaled Desouki)

After more than 15 years of debate on the issue, 122 countries voted in favor of a compromise Bolivian resolution enshrining the right, while 41 abstained.

The text "declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life."

The resolution laments the fact that 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and that more 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation.

It notes that roughly two million people die every year from diseases caused by unsafe water and sanitation, most of them small children.

And it points to the pledge made by world leaders in 2000 as part of the poverty-reduction Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce by half, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

The resolution urges states and international organizations to provide financial and technological assistance to help developing countries "scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable water and sanitation for all."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

19 million households have no electricity : President

Antara News, Tuesday, July 27, 2010 21:11 WIB

Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said 19 million households in Indonesia still had no electricity, emphasizing the need for concrete efforts in the sector.

"The government continued striving so that the poor will be able to enjoy it," he said when launching an Indonesia Free of Power Outage program here on Tuesday.

He said after the state electricity company PT PLN could meet its committment to free the country from rotating power outages in six months the next target should be assuring that all applications for electricity would be met.

He said some 500,000 households in eastern and western regions are still in the waiting list for access to electricity.

"Everyone knows it is our homework. Access to electricity is also connected with justice. It is unfair if some of our people still do not have access to electricity," he said.

In view of that he said the central as well as regional government kept working to overcome electricity supply problem while increasing supply.

Yudhoyono said electricity supply in the country has remained at 25,000 megawatt from the era of first president Soekarno to 2005 while demand has kept increasing.

Therefore, he said, the government had carried out the first and second phase of the 10,000 megawatt electricity development project.

"However developing power plants take time. It could take two to four years to build a 2 X 200 megawatt power plant," he said.

Minister of energy and mineral resources Darwin Zaidi Saleh meanwhile said on the occasion that rotating power outages could not be avoided before because demand during peak hours could not be met.

As a short-term program to overcome the problem the government had bought power from private companies, leased generator sets, shortened time of maintenance and called on the people to economize.

He said what was meant by the outage-free program was assuring supply so that no rotating outages would occur again.

"In case outages still occur later they must be because of local problems," he said.

Darwin said 35 percent of households in Indonesia or around 19 million people especially those living in the Indonesian eastern region have not had access to electricity.

President Yudhoyono was in the region for launching the outage free campaign. He returned to Jakarta after launching the campaign.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Time for Indonesia to accelerate use of renewable energy

Antara News, By Eliswan Azly, Monday, July 26, 2010 21:52 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is at a crossroad. With the impressive rate of its economic growth which leads to a dramatic increase in energy consumption and in an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, this archipelagic country has to find renewable energy that would may help reduce reliance on carbon-fueled energy.

It is for that purpose that the Energy Care Society (MPE) on Sunday urged the government and the House of Representatives (DPR) to encourage the use of renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuel.

"The government and the DPR need to issue a regulation to lay a firm basis to change the market domination of fossil fuel by encouraging the public to use more renewable energy," MPE Chairman Abdul Kadir said.

According to him, the regulation must contain clauses requiring companies operating under contracts of work in the oil and gas mining sector to help meet power demand using renewable energy such as solar energy under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

The companies` participation in the fulfillment of power demand using alternative energy was badly needed to solve power shortages as well as to preserve the environment, he said adding that hopefully this will help accelerate the use of renewable energy in this country.

"It is regrettable that people in oil- and mineral-rich regions have difficult access to electricity. This must draw all of our attention," he said.

He said a number of companies such as state electricity company PLN, state oil company Pertamina, Antam and Freeport had started building solar and micro hydro power plants to meet power demands, however, the power plants are still of low capacity.

"This must become a common movement including the involvement of the extractive industry to think of a solution by providing CSR programs," he said.

He said the MPE had discussed the matter with extractive industries at a seminar in Bandung, West Java, on July 22-23.

In addition, Indonesia could also develop solar power plants which would help it overcome future energy crises, Jacobus Purwono, the director general of electricity, said.

Indonesia recently announced its plan to build 250 solar power plants with a total capacity of 2.2 MW by 2014 to supply the country`s rural areas with electricity. The proposed project is expected to cost around US$84 million.

"The electricity produced by the plants will benefit 150,000 to 200,000 households in different parts of the country," he said.

Indonesia`s announcement comes on the heels of Japan`s $400 million loan to help the country deal with global warming. The proposed solar plants are part of Indonesia`s alternative energy plan, which outlines the installation of solar panels at 192,000 homes, building 570 small-scale hydro-electric plants and the construction of 270 wind plants.

According to Jacobus, the Indonesian government looked forward to the solar project as part of their alternative energy plan since it will power villages while at the same time reducing their CO2 emissions. also reported that the Indonesian government`s statistics showed that only 65% of Indonesia`s 240 million people had access to electricity. Because the large population was distributed in over 17,000 islands, some of the villages, especially in the easternmost regions, were not connected to the National Grid. With the new solar projects, the government hoped to connect more people to electrical supply sources.

As a matter of fact, Indonesia has the world`s largest geothermal power potential, and the plan allocates extensive co-financing to expand large-scale geothermal electricity generation, Katherine Sierra, vice president for sustainable development at the Work Bank, said earlier.

Indonesia could accelerate initiatives to promote energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources by creating risk-sharing facilities and addressing financing barriers to small- and medium-scale investments.

The low-carbon growth investments in Indonesia are an example of similar programs now approved to receive Climate Investment Funds (CTF) financing in Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Taken together, these programs will demonstrate how future energy demands can be satisfied in ways that will not generate excessive levels of greenhouse gases.

"From our vantage point as multilateral development bank partners in helping countries implement these CTF-funded plans, this bold action on the part of Indonesia and other Asian nations is a harbinger of a fundamental shift in climate action around the globe," she said.

And the same sorts of actions are moving forward in developing countries in every region of the world. While developing countries have not been the primary source of climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the past burning of fossil fuels, "they are taking positive actions to help achieve a global solution to the common challenge posed by climate change," she said.

This climate-smart approach offers lessons which all, including those in developed countries, can look to emulate in coming years.

The CTF is founded on partnerships between policymakers, indigenous peoples, private sector entities, civil society and others, she said.

More important to help the country arrive at the targeted use of alternative energy is the granting of such incentive to boost investment in renewable energy such as geothermal, solar and biofuel, in an effort to cut reliance on fossil fuels.

Harry Z Soeratin, a spokesman of the finance ministry said in a statement, his office had issued a decree which granted a 5 percent tax cut over six years for renewable energy producers as well as exemptions from value-added tax and import duties on equipment. Another provision allowed investors to use accelerated depreciation and amortization on assets to reduce taxable income.

The incentive is offered to investors as the government aimed to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy and to ensure availability of sustainable energy sources by attracting investment.

In response to offered incentives, Paulus Tjakrawan, secretary general of the Indonesian Bio-fuel Producers Association (Aprobi), gave his applause and said Indonesia had joined the rest of the world by applying regulations to develop renewable energy. The government was heading in the right direction.

Paulus said the incentives would cut bio-fuel production costs, making it more affordable.

Related Articles:

New technology generates electricity from exhaust gases

RNW, 26 July 2010 - 10:44am

A Dutch company has developed a device which recycles unused exhaust heat. The Tri-O-Gen ORC converts residual heat into electricity using the Organic Rankine Cycle.

This cycle first converts all kinds of residual heat into vapour. This expands in a turbine connected to an electric generator. The system uses no fuel except for exhaust gases or other sources of residual heat which would otherwise disappear into the atmosphere.

The installation can improve the electrical output of an engine or gas turbine by 20 percent - a huge improvement on previous methods which were limited to increases measured in tenths of a percent. It requires minimal maintenance and has no adverse effects on the environment.

The device is the result of nine years of development, experiment and sustainability testing in collaboration with the Technological University of Delft, the TNO research institute and the National Aerospace Laboratory.

The output of a single ORC is enough to meet the consumption of 300 households.

Tri-O-Gen calculates that if all the unused heat in the Netherlands were converted into electricity this way, the country would need one less coal-fired generator.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Transformer blast cuts off power around capital

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 07/22/2010 9:10 AM

Residents of several areas of Jakarta are still without electricity after damage to transformers in Muara Karang, North Jakarta, triggered blackouts throughout the city Wednesday.

Meltdown: Workers repair a transformer at a power plant in Muara Karang, North Jakarta. The transformer exploded on Wednesday, leaving many parts of Jakarta without power for several hours. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama

Power went out when a measuring device on one transformer broke off and hit a second transformer at a power plant operated by state-owned power company PT PLN, Purnomo Willy, PLN Jakarta and Tangerang general manager, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The two damaged transformers carry 700 of the 1,000 megawatts produced by the Muara Karang power plant, he said.

PLN cut power to some areas in May due to a leaking oil pump in a turbine machine at the same power plant.
The leak had reduced the plant’s capacity, forcing PLN to implement rotating blackouts in the capital.

Wednesday’s outage forced some Jakartans to live without electricity from 9 a.m. into the afternoon before power was restored.

The affected areas were Muara Angke, Pluit and other areas in North Jakarta; Cengkareng and Kebon Jeruk in West Jakarta; Kebayoran Baru and Mampang in South Jakarta; Budi Kemuliaan and Kebon Sirih in Central Jakarta and parts of Tangerang, Banten, including Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The airport’s emergency generator immediately began operating when the power died and there were no disruptions to airport activities.

The blackout also crippled traffic lights in the affected areas, fouling traffic for hours.

Ratna, a 27-year-old employee at a media company in Buncit Raya, South Jakarta, said her office had been notified about the possibility of blackouts at 9 a.m.

Several minutes later, the power went out and the office’s emergency generator kicked in, she said.

“The emergency generator had to be turned off at 1:30 p.m. Before that, the office’s air conditioner was also turned off making us feel hot,” she said.

She and her friends eventually decided to take their lunch break at a nearby mall, prompting her boss to joke that the office had been moved to the mall.

Rizka, a 21-year-old student at a private university in Kebayoran Baru, said her boarding house had lost power at 11 a.m.

“The power was still down when I left my boarding house at 3 p.m.,” she said.

She added that since she had assignments and her cell phone was running low, she decided to go to the office to finish her assignments and recharge her phone.

Purnomo said PLN employees were busy repairing the transformers and had already restored electricity to most areas.

“Since part of the electricity grid in Jakarta is supported by our plant in Gandul, Depok, we were able to restore power to some areas quickly,” he said, adding the Gandul plant has a total load of 1,500 megawatts.

Residents of Muara Karang, Pluit and surrounding areas are still waiting for power to be restored because the Muara Karang steam power plant is the sole source of electricity for the area, he said.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Government launches earthquake zone maps

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 07/16/2010 1:28 PM

The Public Works Ministry launched six new earthquake zone maps to support the development of earthquake-resilient infrastructure on Friday.

"We are doing this in response to the greater frequency of earthquakes in recent years. We realize that buildings and infrastructures should be resilient to earthquakes to reduce the number of fatalities," said the ministry's Head of Research and Development Sumaryanto Widiyatin.

The new maps comply with the 2006 International Building Code and are based on three-dimensional earthquake source analysis. The maps are expected to function as references for constructing buildings and infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, dikes and irrigation channels.

He added that his team was also preparing a draft revision of the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) 03-1726-2002 on earthquake resistant or resilient construction, which is expected to be completed in August of this year. (lnd)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Only 28 islands Maluku supplied with power

The Jakarta Post | Thu, 07/15/2010 11:53 AM | The Archipelago

AMBON: Only 28 of 576 islands in Maluku territory a supplied with electricity, according to an official of state power company PT PLN.

“Of 576 islands, 259 are inhabited, of which only 28 have electricity installations,” Harun Tukuboya, who is in charge of legal and administrative affairs for Maluku and North Maluku regions.

Elaborating further on demography, Harun said people with access to electricity were scattered across 70 districts in eight regencies and two municipalities, comprising 542 of Maluku’s 888 villages.

The establishment of power plants in Maluku, according to Harun, faces inherent difficulties with the province made up of hundreds of islands.

Another problem is, he added, many islands have too few residents for PLN to benefit from installing electricity networks. — JP

Related Article:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pertamina EP`s CEO suspended over work-place accidents

Antara News, Friday, July 9, 2010 02:19 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The board of commissioners of PT Pertamina EP has suspended the company`s president director, Salis Aprilian, for a month over the occurrence of three work-place accidents in the past six months.

Aprilian confirmed on Thursday evening he had been suspended from his job for a month effective last July 2 on account of three fatal work accidents during the past six months.

Six people - five working for contractors and one a Pertamina EP employee - lost their lives in work-place accidents "which happened in processes beyond the management`s control," he said.

Citing an example, he said, one of the workers died after falling from a window 2.5 meters from the ground when repairing an air-conditioning device. The man was electrocuted and suffered cardiac arrest.

Four other workers died from suffocation after they entered a tank without being ordered to, and the sixth fatality was a worker who was crushed under a collapsed cement tank.

In view of the accidents, the company`s board of commissioners had asked him to file a complete report on the happenings and improve work safety and health conditions.

"Although all the tragedies happened in situations beyond my control, I accept responsibility as the company`s chief executive, and have to make sure they don`t recur in the future," he said.

Aprilian said the accidents occurred while the company was making good progress in increasing its oil production.

Within the first six months of 2010, Pertamina EP`s oil production reached 130,400 barrels per day (bpd) or more than the 128,000 bpd target set by the government. Last June, production even stood at 140,000 bpd, a "very satisfactory psychological level," he said.

Related Articles:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quality of gas hoses, regulators, still spotty

Hasyim Widhiarto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 07/07/2010 10:17 AM

Chicken noodle hawker Nono turned to his own resourcefulness when he received the gas conversion program’s free kit, which he considered low quality.

The hose was thinly-walled while the regulator was a botched fit with the melon-shaped canister, he said about the kit that he obtained in Jakarta.

He immediately replaced the faulty accessories, keeping only the canister, which he still uses.

“I bought a 1-meter length of hose used for welding for Rp 30,000 [US$ 3.3] and a regulator for Rp 80,000. Then I attached them to the canister myself,” he said.

He added that his kit had held up well since the hose “has not shown signs of wear”.

The government, through local administrations, distributed free kits consisting of a stove, hose, regulator and 3-kilogram LPG canister to low-income households in 2007 to end large subsidies for kerosene as Indonesia’s main fuel for cooking.

As of last month, there have been at least 95 explosions, 22 deaths and 131 injuries and 55 houses damaged in gas explosions in Greater Jakarta and West Java.

The city fire department and disaster agency said that between January and July there were 40 LPG explosions.

Another hawker, Agus, said he received a durable LPG set in Bogor at the beginning of the conversion period.

“I have not changed the original hose since this one’s still good,” he said.

“I only changed the regulator since it wore off after a year of use. I bought a new one for Rp 78,000.”

Worn hoses expand from their original size while worn regulators would not fit properly on the canister’s valve, Agus said.

Agus and Nono said they knew of at least three different hoses on the market, which Nono described as “an orange-colored one, a larger hose in orange too, and a black one”.

The variety of dubious equipment mirrors the botched quality standards in the market that the government supposedly controls.

An updated study conducted by the Consumer Protection Agency showed that all hoses, two-thirds of canister check valves, half of all stoves, 20 percent of regulators and 7 percent of canisters did not meet safety standards.

As a result, many parties have pinned the blame on the government regarding the recent spate of gas canister explosions.

The government reacted by holding a Cabinet meeting with Vice President Boediono. They decided to recall hoses after learning that the products had an estimated life expectancy of two years.

Yet many vendors report that they were unaware the hoses had expiry dates for hoses.

Ati, a gas canister vendor for 15 years in Taman Sari, West Jakarta, said hoses had no expiry dates.

“I have stocked some hoses for a year,” she told The Jakarta Post. “None of my customers have complained about the quality.”

She added that she did not receive any notice from her agent regarding the distribution of hoses by state energy company PT Pertamina.

As previously reported, PT Pertamina planned to distribute supposedly better hoses on Tuesday to its main agents for redistribution to the public. However, the start of the distribution was postponed on the given day.

Currently, most vendors get their hoses and regulators from independent suppliers, who flood the market with goods of various quality and price.

“I offer two types of hoses. The expensive ones cost up to Rp 70,000 while the cheap ones cost around Rp. 50,000,” Ati said. “Regulators cost around Rp 25,000.”

She added that although her goods carried Indonesian National Standards (SNI) labels, prices indicated the item’s durability.

Most of the packaging boast SNI labels printed directly on it or on stickers with the SNI logo and a registration number.

“The cheap items wear out quite quickly, but only a few buyers purchase the hardier expensive ones,” she said.

Arya Rezavidi, a director for technology conservation at the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), said a study by his agency’s found that most of the explosions occurred because of leakages in the canister’s valve.

The agency, according to Arya, believed that the leakage occurred because of a failure during the canister production process.

“As of today, we don’t have a specific study looking into whether such valve leakage was triggered by other reasons, like illegal gas injections,” he said. (gzl)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yudhoyono Demands Explanation for Gas Explosions

Jakarta Globe, July 05, 2010

In this file photo, 3-kg gas cylinders are being stored before being refilled. The cylinders have been made the focus of an investigation ordered by the president as there has been a rash of explosions caused by faulty cylinders throughout Indonesia. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered several ministries and institutions to investigate a string of 3-kg gas cylinder explosions in Indonesia and he also demanded a clear report on the cases of the explosions quickly.

“I want a report about the gas canisters, a clear investigation why they exploded. It is important to prevent the issue from being twisted here and there,” Yudhoyono said in a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace on Monday.

The Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono said a number of ministries and government institutions including the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the State Energy Company Pertamina and the National Police are to conduct raids on places stocking gas cylinders which do not meet the national standard.

Meanwhile, the gas cylinder explosions still a far cry from stopping.

In Medan, North Sumatera, a restaurant went up in flames after a 12-kg gas cylinder allegedly exploded. According to the chef, Rosalina, she heard a small explosion in the kitchen followed by a strong gas smell at 10 a.m. Rosalina ran out of the kitchen just seconds before the fire started to engulf the whole kitchen. No one was injured in the fire.

In West Jakarta, a 3-kg gas cylinder exploded in Jalan Meruya Selatan on Monday morning and burned a small food stall. The stall's owner, Jaenah, and her employee, Rohima, sustained severe burns.

Witnesses said Jaenah was replacing the 3-kg gas cylinder when it suddenly exploded. Her neighbors rescued the women and tried to put out the flame.

Related Article:

Safety standards a concern at amusement parks

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 07/05/2010 10:08 AM

With thousands flocking recreation centers and amusement parks during the height of the school holidays, questions abound as to whether park operators are willing to sacrifice safety standards to ensure visitor numbers.

At Mekarsari Tourism Park in Cileungsi, Bogor, visitors were not provided with life vests for the “floating donut” water ride, in which one climbs aboard a giant floating raft in the shape of a donut that spins on the surface of a giant man-made lake.

An attendant at the ride, Ombi, said he had never been instructed to hand out life vests to guests in the two months he had been working there. Further, he added he could not swim, and that the only other attendant, Umil, could not either.

“When a child falls into the water, I use a lifebuoy to help them,” Ombi said, pointing to the one and only lifebuoy available at the ride. “I usually throw out the lifebuoy about 3 meters away from the edge [of the water] using a rope.”

That day, two primary school children and their guardian climbed onto the giant donut, and then tried to keep their balance as it began to spin — pure delight showing on their faces.

Shinta, a public relations staff member present on site, said the ride’s operator had misled the park's management.

“The operator's monthly report states that both [attendants] can swim in accordance with our requirements,” she said, adding that the park’s authorities had not required the two men to demonstrate their ability to swim.

Mekarsari hires third-party operators to manage and supply park equipment and attendants for their Water Zone rides and Sabut Kelapa Outbound activities, she said, adding that the park “closely oversees the operators’ work,” she added.

Many parents too were apparently unaware of the park’s rules and regulations, and others simply ignored them.

One parent, Khoirudin, took off his two-year-old son's life vest — which had been handed to him by an attendant — as the young boy was boarding the Dragon Boat ride. He said his son “felt bothered by the uncomfortable jacket”.

“God willing, I believe nothing bad will happen since the boat looks safe to me,” he said, adding that he would consider it “fate” if an accident did befall his son while on the ride.

The Dragon Boat is a long and narrow motor boat with around 12 seats that takes visitors around a 3-hectare swath of water in the man-made lake, which is about 6 meters deep.

Not all parents showed disregard for the rules. Another parent, Satimin, said he would not allow his two children — aged six and seven — on the boat without life jackets, although both were “adept at swimming”.

He said that on the whole, the park’s safety equipment looked safe.

“None of the life jackets are damaged,” he said. “And the outbound games use proper harnesses instead of the knotted ropes used by operators in my hometown of Medan.”

Mekarsari's Sabut Kelapa outbound recreational facility, whose activities include the Elvis Walk (where one navigates a bridge made from a single piece of bamboo) and a flying fox, appeared to have more impressive safety standards, as befitted the inherent dangers of its activities. Children were forced to wear helmets and harnesses for all activities.

Toni Purnomo, Sabut Kelapa's supervisor, said the safety gear, including harnesses, webbing, carabiners and slings, was of a similar quality to that used by professional mountain climbers.

The staff, he said, applied mountain climbing safety principles at the center.

“Our staff checks all equipment before opening and after closing to make sure everything works properly. If we find any damaged item, we will replace it immediately,” he told The Jakarta Post, adding that so far there had been no injuries at the center.

Another outbound games center, Telaga Arwana Cibubur in East Jakarta, applied similar safety

The park’s operations manager, Widodo, said the flying fox incorporated two safety harnesses.

“Safety is of great importance as it involves people’s lives,” he said, adding that he would close down any ride if he felt it was unsafe. “No accidents have occurred,” he said.

However, the park’s web bridge, a swaying bridge made from a web of rope, was in poor condition. In several spots, the rope was frayed.

The game’s supervisor, Akbar, agreed that the rope was worn. However, he said, the sudden influx of holiday makers had left the park’s operators with no time to replace the bridge.

“The nylon ropes do not snap easily and we have thrown in extra security measures by attaching [the visitors’] harnesses to webbings and slings,” he said. “Large groups of students can go on the wooden bridge [at the same time].”

He said the park attendants ensured every visitor wore a special harness that supported the legs and the shoulders, which was particularly important for small children. The harnesses, he said, which were a one-size-fits-all design, had adjustable straps that could fit from children aged three to adults.

Children were provided with children’s motorcycle helmets, which Akbar said were safer than mountaineering helmets because they covered the entire head.

“The helmets meet Indonesian National Standard specifications,” he added.

However, a member of the Indonesian Rock Climbing Association, Jaka Hidayat, said motorcycle helmets employed different safety features compared to mountaineering helmets.

“The plastic materials are different. Motorcycle helmets shatter when they break but mountaineering helmets crack — although this rarely happens because they are made to withstand falling rock,” he said.

He said that in professional mountaineering competitions, children used harnesses especially made for children.

“The harnesses have sizes, like S, M, L, even though they are adjustable,” he said.

“Logically, the lengths of the straps differ.”

He said parents and teachers judged by sight whether equipment, such as harnesses and webbing, were a right fit for children.

“The stitching on the straps should use a zigzag pattern, — none of the fibers should be worn and the color should not be worn,” he said, adding that this was a sign of excessive wear and tear. (gzl)

Community unit wins award for flood mitigation

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 07/05/2010 9:24 AM

JAKARTA: A residential community in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, has been awarded for reducing flooding in the low-lying area by constructing an embankment along a network of canals.

Governor Fauzi Bowo awarded community RW 12 in Pegangsaan Dua with an award called the ISO 9001:2008, which is reserved for exceptional achievements by communities in city planning. The Indonesian Museum of Records said the community was the first-ever to receive the honor.

“I’m proud of this achievement and I’m sure this is all down to hard work by all of the community unit officials as well as the residents,” Fauzi was quoted as saying by

Head of the community Soedirman said all of the residents deserved credit. The community raised Rp 1.6 billion (US$176,795) to build the embankment. “Since our neighborhood is surrounded by a river, we are often flooded during the rainy season. Now we are flood-free thanks to the new embankment,” Soedirman said. — JP