Monday, April 25, 2011

Coal river-mining: Blessing or Disaster?

During the last three years, there has increasingly coal mining activity taken place in the river of  Bengkulu, a river that ends up in the city of Bengkulu.  The miners simply take the coal from the bottom of the river, pile it and sell it. Many people make this activity as additional source of income, or as their part-time job.  Buyers, which are more appropriated called as middlemen, pick it up and cash the divers. Individual can earn around USD 2-5 per day, depends on how compromise the weather or how good their mood to dive the coal from the bottom of the river.
Where does the coal come from then? It is believed come from the improper coal management or processing at the coal mining activity around the coal mining activities, managed by several companies, along this river upstream.  I doubt that it is really a mining issue? It is an environmental issue instead!. 
This river is undoubtedly polluted, I guess. How can the bottom of the river suddenly get filled with coals?  This river in fact serves as one of the source for running water to the people of Bengkulu and somehow irrigates the rice paddy fields. The way of the miners take the coal, which is by diving or bathing in it, also clearly puts some risks in the healthiness of miner skin. In addition, coal river-mining in the river is not something usually practiced elsewhere. Although the impacts on environment and human might take time to be noticed, the authorities must take actions, pushing the mining company to properly handle their productions,

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