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Banten fishing village grapples with piles of trash brought in by tides

Reuters - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Solikah, a housewife living in the fishing village of Teluk, was in tears as she pointed to piles of trash strewn on a beach close to her home of 40 years.

Teluk, located in Banten on the western edge of Java island, has one of the country's dirtiest beaches as villagers said that heavy rain has led to stronger tides, bringing more trash to shore.

"You can't predict the weather," 58-year-old Solikah said.

Indonesia is expecting a milder dry season this year, its meteorological agency said, starting later than usual in May and June for Java.

Fikri Jufri, who leads a community focus on cleaning beaches in Teluk, said the rain had led to the pile-up of trash.

"Every year, the rain and wind carries trash from the sea to the shore," he said, adding mountains of plastic waste have for years made their way to the sea through rivers, but the tides bring them back ashore.

Biscuit and toothbrush cases, instant noodle packages or even sandals are regularly strewn on the beach, where villagers live on the shore.

Indonesia is one of the world's biggest contributors of plastic waste that ends up in the sea.

A video of a group of young environmentalists raking up tons of trash in Teluk last year went viral on social media app TikTok.

Despite the waste, the biggest complaint of local fishermen is how the weather unpredictability affects their livelihood.

Jayadi, 33, said high tides during the rains have prevented him from going fishing, lamenting that income will be hit just as his family prepares to celebrate the Idul Fitri festival next month.

"Many villagers will cry because they cannot buy rice if the weather continues like this," he said. "Last year around this time the sea was calmer, so we could find fish, squids."

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/03/19/banten-fishing-village-grapples-with-piles-of-trash-brought-in-by-tides.htm