Monday, December 11, 2006

Mata Biru "Clean Sea" Program II (part II)

Infrastructure and Education takes time, and as mentioned, time is not on our side, whatever the cause, the reality is that something must be done now to try and stem the tide of rubbish, that will, sooner or later effect us all in Bunaken National Marine Park.
Again we have not "invented the wheel" with this idea, but instead we have taken the idea from Singapore where the system is in place for some years now.
Its all rather simple really, a barge type catamaran, as in the picture, is driven to where the rubbish accumulates (normally following currents) and scoops it up in a stainless steel mesh bucket, once full the bucket is tilted back and up to allow the crew to empty it into a container, then the bucket is lowered again and the job continues. Its the simple things that work...
The boat crew can then seperate the garbage, with logs, coconuts, etc being discarded back to sea (these do have a function), pet bottles and other recyclables kept to one side, the rest baged.
The boats will reutrn to a "coordinating center" in the afternoon to deliver their load, here a member of staff will take the bags of garbage, storing the recyclables and burning the rest in an incinarator.
It is hoped that by the mid 2007 three boats will be in operation around Bunaken National Marine Park, it is also hoped that the Scuba Diving Operators in the area will help identify "hot spots" via telephone or VHF while they are travelling around the park with their guests.
The crusade goes on............

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Mata Biru "Clean Sea" Program II (part I)

Whether in Asia, Europe or the US, it seems that the easiest way to deal with garbage has been to dispose of it to somewhere we cannot see it, or at least, we dont see it on our doorstep everyday, in Indonesia, you add to this the lack of rural refuse collection and you end up with people throwing their rubbish into rivers, well in actual fact onto the banks of rivers and with the first floods all this accumulated rubbish gets washed down to the sea.
What about towns/cities?
Again a similar scenario takes place, but instead of the river banks the rubbish is "litteraly" swept into ditches and gutters, all of which lead directly to the sea.
In Manado we have also another problem..the ferries, with daily departures and arrivals of upto 8 per day carrying on average 300 passengers, over journeys of between 6 and 14 hours.....what happens to the rubbish they create? whoops...all overboard, do I blame the ferry companies, not really, they have little or no alternative as the harbour area in Manado has no Refuse collection and though Indonesia has signed an International agreement on Waste disposal at sea, its not implemented or enforced.
Of course we all know that the solution would be; a) infrastructure; b) education: both of these take time and time is something that is not on our side at this moment, though we must ensure that the above 2 must be prioritised, this is for tomorrow, but we have a responsibility ALSO for today.

Mata Biru "Clean Village" Program I

Mata Biru "Clean Village" Program consists of empowering all villages within the Bunaken National Marine Park with their own self governed and, eventually, self funding village waste management system. Mata Biru has for sure not invented the "wheel" with the program that it has started, but lets face it, garbage is not a popular subject, if we spoke of Corals, Reefs, Turtles I am sure that more NGO's would be more than willing to lend a hand, but "Garbage" is something we all complain about and do relatively little to alliviate.
So what's are the details of the Program?
Recruit and pay for one village caretaker, whos role it is to collect garbage daily from around the village and bring to a central point where Mata Biru has donated an incinerator, here his job is to seperate any recyclable garbage that can be sold in Manado and burn the rest. The program will also donate "refuse collection points" throughout the villages where villagers can put their waste and thus reducing collection times, it is also the responsability of the village caretaker to keep the village communal areas tidy and thus Mata Biru has donated a petrol grass cutter to help with this job.
Village responsabilities: Each Village head to administer the program in conjunction with Mata Biru, village to donate area for incinerator.
Program time frame? 24 months from completion of incinerator and employement of village caretaker.
Future: The programm is based on an MUO with each village that after the 24 months the villagers will have to pay a small village tax to ensure the continuation of the program.
Villages operating to date : 2 villages - Tanjung Parigi on Bunaken and Negri on Manado Tua
Total Villages in the Park : 30
Total funding needed for each Village for 24 month : US$5,000 (inclusive of construction)

So there we have it in a "nut shell", on a personal note, I must admit to be very pleased with the reaction of the villagers so far, it seems that all they really needed was a bit of leadership and organisational skills to get this off the ground, but the reality is that funding has been only enough for 2 villages and there are still 28 out there with the same problem and looking for a solution. So here goes with some proposal writing looking for funds, but as said before "garbage" isnt "sexy" and thus funding is difficult to come by, but any one reading this Blog that is intrested in receiving further information and maybe wishing to "adopt" a village for this program you can leave me comment.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Mata Biru

The great News is that Manado City Government has decided to deal with the Garbage problem within the City and as mentioned in my previous Blog, the results are already plain to see but where will all this rubbish go? It seems that landfill is still the only solution that they have, sustainable? eco-friendly? ah well as far as I am concerned the first step has been made and the first step is always the most difficult. After years of neglect we need to support and help the Local Government to ensure that this new found desire is maintained and isnt, yet again a " flash in the pan".

"Mata Biru"
(Masyarakat Pencinta BahariKu)

What is it ? A new NGO that has been created recently to help deal with "Waste Management" or "Garbage" as it is more commonly known, within the bounaries of Manado/Bunaken National Marine Park.
Founders : Owners of Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort
Who is involved ? Mr Raphael Downey & Ms Reiko Oba (Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort) - Mr Maleru (Village Head of Tanjung Parigi - Bunaken) - Mr Denny Taliwongkso (Manado Government co-ordinator) - Mr Patrys Baworo (Field manager)
Supporters: Manado Government - North Sulawesi Watersport Association Members - Mark V Erdman

Programs and projects of "Mata Biru" in my next Blog

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Mata Biru

Manado and Bunaken National Marine Park has become almost a household name for many divers all over the world, the destination is featured on a regular basis in many Diving Magazines from Italy to Australia, its wonders continue to astound both diver and snorkeller alike and yet the decade long problem still seems not to be addressed with sufficient tenacity to ensure that far from "falling from its newly found crest" Manado and Bunaken Park can actual increase its popularity in a sustainable and eco friendly manner.
While every effort is made to ensure that there are no illegal activities within the boundaries of the Park, that bomb fishing is a thing of the past and that cyanide fishing is socially unacceptable.
The "buzz" word at the moment is GARBAGE, though it has taken time (8 years that I know of), it seems that finally Manado City wishes to tackle this "scourge". Since August there seems to be a real willingness to get Manado into "shipshape", gone are the hawkers that were everywhere and with them the mountains of garbage that they left behind every evening, it seems also that a new local law will indeed sanction anybody found littering and/or disposing of garbage in an unacceptable manner......Wow could this be really the turning tide, could Manado Town really become the prettiest Town in Indonesia, after all it did hold this admirable position for two whole years back in the '70s.
The question now is whether or not they (Manado City) will remember that Manado has been "put on the map" not for Manado Town itself but for the wonders that it has on its door step....Bunaken National Marine Park, and the begging question is whether they will dedicate any effort to curb "floating garbage" within the Park.