Siak River pollution worsens, APP’s mill protested

EoF News / 31 July 2013

EoF News (PEKANBARU) - People living in Siak riverside protested pulp mill belonging to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper,  due to waste pollution caused by the mill for over nearly four months they have been suffering, media reports said.

The residents of Koto Gasib sub-district, Siak district, has complained several times to the company PT IKPP and Environmental Agency (BLH) of Siak but so far there has been no resolving conducted until the result of BLH’s lab examination is ready to be exposed to public.

Whilst, the residents, whose lives depends on the river, has to deal with loss of job and disease threats.

Fauzi, resident of Sengkemang Village, Koto Gasib sub-district told media, “We are upset that the water conditions is getting  worse and worse while there has been no mitigation signals so far”, as quoted on Riau Pos, July 19th 2013. Furthermore, Fauzi explained that the fishermen has lost their job since four months ago and the water is no longer good to be used for daily life as it starts to generate unpleasant smell.

Fauzi is not the only one who regrets associated agencies’ ignorance, but also the residents of four other villages who have restrained waiting for BLH’s examination result. However, as the water pollution worsens, their protests raged on July 7th 2013 by withstanding the company’s pontoons in Buatan II Dock.

Finally the protest by stopping PT IKPP’s pontoons halted by the community following mediation that led by the police to compromise the conflict. Residents agreed to wait for result of verification on waste pollution allegation.

Responding community’s complaint delivered during a meeting in Okura Village, Rumbai Pesisir sub-district of Pekanbaru, on  July 25th, Pekanbaru Mayor Firdaus MT commanded BLH to recheck the river condition.

“BLH can go straight down to the field to monitor public complaints as it’s their duty. Seemingly, on the earlier observation the officers were tricked by the company. When the officers left, perhaps they throw the waste into the river,” Firdaus added as quoted from, July 29th 2013.