As the lockdown in Indonesia starts lifting the Batukaras community is beginning to embrace a ‘new normal’. Yadi, our Manager at Bale Tau, will be able to restart his weekly activities with the local children, which he says he has missed just as much as they have! Classes and workshops in arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, technology and English will resume at Bale Tau next week under the new social distancing rules. Our beach cleans will recommence soon, as the government plans to re-open the beaches next week to support the tourism industry.
Covid-19 Lockdown in Indonesia
Similar to the rest of the world, Indonesia has been dealing with Covid-19 for about three months now and the government has struggled to adequately manage the spread of the virus and limit its economic effect. I spoke to Yadi, who lives in Cijulang, West Java, about how his district has been dealing with the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, as well as his work with CLEAR, Yadi worked in disaster management analysis. Now he has been placed on a special Covid-19 task force analysing data to be sent to the department of health.
“About two months ago the government introduced large-scale social restrictions – they stopped all public transport, closed down schools and disallowed large gatherings. Travelling between districts has also become very difficult as you must provide documentation to prove that you are free of Covid-19 and those coming from Jakarta, or other large cities, must remain in a 2 day – long quarantine”.
Yadi said that due to the fact that there aren’t many confirmed cases in his community and people generally spend a lot of time outside, it has been a very difficult adjustment and many are not abiding by the rules closely enough: in fact about 70% of the community are ignoring them!
“Although we have only had about 5 confirmed cases here, the local government have been very helpful in terms of supporting the communities – distributing bags of rice and other basic necessities”.
Restarting CLEAR’s environmental programme
It is likely that schools in West Java will not return until January 2021 so the CLEAR Community team are developing…‘CLEAROPAEDIA’… an online programme of educational resources and activities for school students which will also be used to reach a wider audience.
CLEAR has also been asked to help set up a waste bank in Batukaras. We will advise on the separation of waste and a system for providing and completing ‘bank books’ for people to be paid for the waste they bring according to types and amount.
Looking further ahead
School and community group visits will re-commence when restrictions are lifted. We will also be piloting an eco-mentor training programme to spread CLEAR’s community development model for waste management. More details to follow soon, or sign up for our newsletter to hear more: