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Story Publication logo May 25, 2023

Waste Overflow and Skinny Cows From Palm Oil Giants (bahasa Indonesia)


Palm oil plantation in Indonesia

The three Malaysian palm oil companies allegedly encroached on the Senunsur Sembulu II Protected...

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Jaring. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

Brownish water overflowed into Mardani's house in Buding Village, Kelapa Kampit, East Belitung Regency on July 15, 2017. It had been raining nonstop for two days.

From his house, which had been flooded to a height of 50 cm, Mardani watched the branches of an oil palm tree being carried away by the water. Amidst the darkness caused by the power outage, the pungent smell of palm oil waste drifted in. The flood caused the waste storage ponds of PT Steelindo Wahana Perkasa and PT Parit Sembada, which are about 1 kilometer away from Buding Village, to overflow.

"Things like that should be a concern for the company," said Mardani, who also serves as Head of Buding Village when met by a collaboration team consisting of media outlets Jaring.id, Katadata, and Malaysiakini on Thursday, December 22, 2022.

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Similar conditions occur in Mayang Village, which is about 10 km from Buding Village. Mayang Village Head, Guna Hendra Jaya, said that the company's existence did not benefit the village. "We refuse," he said, Thursday, December 22, 2022.

Guna said that so far Steelindo and Parit Sembada have not provided income to the village. They, said Guna, only give skinny cows every Eid al-Adha as a form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Both, Guna assessed, are far from adequate.

Banners rejecting the HGU gap are displayed by residents near the office of PT Steelindo Wahana Perkasa. Image by Abdus Somad/Jaring. Indonesia, 2023.
Chart by Jaring. Indonesia, 2023.

Banners rejecting the memorandum of understanding between PT Steelindo Wahana Perkasa and nine village heads are displayed near the Steelindo office. Image by Abdus Somad/Jaring. Indonesia, 2023.