13 November 2010

Trip to Indonesia, Part 5: Slums of Jakarta

Today, along with a group of students at the school I am here with, I visited Bintaro Lama, a slum in Jakarta. The students learned about how the people there are learning to filter their water to make it drinkable. They also learned how important it is to conserve water. My coworkers and I were invited to join the students and observe. There are multiple international aid agencies working in the slums to teach the residents how to properly dispose of waste, filter their water, and use proper hygiene to reduce the spread of disease.

International aid workers demonstrate how to filter water using special silver-lined ceramic pots.
Rain water is captured from the roof of the latrine, which they later filter for drinking.
They leave plastic bottles in the sun to sterilize their water.

The people in the slum live literally in the middle of a trash dump. There is no official trash collection in Jakarta, so people dump their trash wherever they can. The people there sort through the trash, looking for valuable things and recyclable materials as a (meager) source of income. Trash that doesn't end up here seems to just end up in piles or is just burnt, which accounts for the constant smell of burning trash here in Jakarta.

The students talking with aid workers.

A gas-powered motor pumping water out of the ground, which is later filtered.

The "canal" running through the middle of the slum. Aid workers said the water is so dirty in the canal that they can't even filter it.

A view across the canal.

Though hard to see here, they use old tires to hold down the sheet metal on their roofs.

Behind each latrine is an artificial wetland created by aid workers to help break down the waste.

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