Rachmawati, Yogyakarta – A petition has emerged opposing andesite rock mining for the construction of the Bener Dam project at Wadas Village in Bener sub-district, Purworejo regency, Central Java.
The petition on Change.org was launched by the Wadas Village Nature Concern Social Movement (Gempadewa), the Wadas Village Youth (Kamudewa) and Wadas Women.
As of 9.24 pm on Tuesday evening it had been signed by 22,063 netizens.
In the petition the Gempadewa Coalition writes that most of the area where their village is located will be dug up to make way for an andesite rock mine.
There are some 145 hectares which will be dug up for the andesit rock mine resulting in 28 wells destroyed and residents losing their livelihoods because their agricultural land will also be destroyed.
In the petition it says that the Wadas village will be vulnerable to landslides and that it is as if the Wadas Village is being offered up as a sacrifice for the construction of the Bener Dam.
"When we rejected the planned socialisation of the measuring of our land, police instead dragged, hit, kicked, trampled on and pulled us by the hair. Moreover in the struggle for our rights, we who have in fact been fighting for the Wadas Village Realm, have been stigmatised as agitators, subverted by anarchists, of not understanding the problem and so forth", wrote Gempadewa.
"It was this that we also experienced when we organised a sincere battle and joint prayer to end the planned socialisation of the measuring of our land for the construction of the Bener Dam and the andesite rock mine at our village. Is it wrong if we defend our place of living and safeguard the preservation of our village?", they asked.
Gempadewa wrote that they formed the association to safeguard the preservation of nature and rejected the planned andesite mine which they believe will destroy the Wadas Village.
The Bener Dam is reportedly one of the strategic national projects (PSN) which will supply a large part of the water needs for the Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA) in Kulon Progo regency.
"It is planned that the dam water will supply water for the YIA. Then what about our water supplies? What about the abandoned mine pits later? In many regions abandoned mine pits are often neglected until they claim lives", wrote Gempadewa.
In the petition, the Wadas Village residents call for support from all Indonesians to urge President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his ministers, the Central Java Governor and the Purworejo Regent to halt the planned andesite rock mine and the Bener Dam at Wadas Village.
"Please, let us live in security and peace as before. Do not destroy the land of our ancestors. We are happy with our current situation", they wrote in the petition.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Muncul Petisi Setop Rencana Pertambangan Andesit di Desa Wadas, Sudah Ditandatangani 22 Ribu Warganet".]