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Walhi Aceh: Sorry for the River Pollution because of Land Clearing

Doc. InfoSAWIT
Walhi Aceh: Sorry for the River Pollution because of Land Clearing

InfoSAWIT, BANDA ACEH – Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Walhi) Aceh was sorry for the Singgersing River in the City of Subulussalam, Aceh Province. It is polluted by many pieces of wood that flow on the river. The water is dirty and full of mud. The pollution might happen for a land clearing that a palm oil company did in the upstream of the river.

Director of Walhi Aceh, Ahmad Salihin said that the river pollution has been two months. “What we knew is that a palm oil company is in land clearing to deveop palm oil plantation. This might pollute the river,” Salihin within nick name Om Sol said, as quoted from Antara.

Besides threatening the villagers’ life in the downstream of the river, the land clearing would be negatively for the local fishermen. “They could not put bubu or net to get fish because of the pieces of wood that flows in the river,” he said.

Om Sol also mentioned the river got increased during the land clearing happened and made many villagers’ houses be in flood and many farms got piled up by the mud. They did not harvest theirs.

Team of Geographic Information System (GIS) of Walhi Aceh informed that the land clearing took place from January to April 2024. The forest canopy losses laid on about 1.767,35 hectares, including about 26 hectares in protected forests. “In 2023, the forest canopy in the region was good still,” Salihin said.

The official of Singgersing, Sub district of Sultan Daulat Subulussalam sent official documents to mayor in duty and Forestry and Environment Agency Regency of Subulussalam about the assumption of river pollution on 8 May 2024. The documents were also sent to many parties, such as, head of Sub district of Sultan Daulat, Special Regional Legislators, the local attorney, Plantation Agency, and BKSDA Aceh. But there is no follow up until now.

Om Sol emphasized that the impacts of land clearing would damage not only the quality of the river but also threaten the tourism objects in Silangit-Langit. That is why, Walhi Aceh urged the legal officers, City of Subulussalam to immediately order some officers to check the land clearing process that a palm oil company was doing.

“Palm oil plantation company should not deliver losses for others, not damage the ecosystem that should be protected, namely tourism objects. Do not get profits by damaging ecosystem, and sacrifice the villagers’ economy,” he said. (T2)