Kuta Beach's waste frustrates visitors
Fikri Zaki Muhammadi
The Jakarta Post
Tourists have lamented the state of Kuta Beach as its waters and its shoreline are filled with waste.
Jay, a tourist from the Netherlands, said he did not expect Kuta Beach to be in such a condition.
'It's very frustrating to see because only six years ago it was a beautiful beach,' he said on Friday.
'Now it's like plastic soup if you go swimming,' he stressed. 'It was shocking. I mean, what happened to the beautiful beach?'
Jay said that the regional administration should provide more garbage bins so that people would feel embarrassed to throw waste arbitrarily.
He added that more workers should be deployed to collect trash.
Echoing what Jay said, Anita, a tourist from Malang, said the excessive waste at the shoreline prevented her from sunbathing at the beach.
'Sunbath with trash all over the place? No, thank you,' she said.
Kuta Beach is one of the most famous tourist spots on the Indonesian resort island. Besides its beautiful scenery and high waves, the area is known for its famous nightclubs.
Kuta has always been a favorite spot for year-end vacationers to celebrate New Year's Eve as well. Thousands of tourists ' both domestic and foreign ' take to the streets to witness various shows offered in every corner of the area.
The area is also preferred due to its proximity to Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Yet, the peak season has brought Kuta a different face.
The Bali Tourism Agency announced that the total number of foreign tourists entering Bali by November 2013 had reached 2.97 million, already surpassing the overall target of 2013.
Another 300,000 people were expected to visit the island in December 2013.
Badung Sanitation and Parks Agency head Putu Eka Mertawan said his side had set an Alert-II (Siaga II) status and would work harder to clean the mounting waste at Kuta Beach.
'It's been two weeks since we increased our workload to clean the beach lines,' Eka said over the phone on Friday.
'We used to collect waste from a mere 4- kilometer beach line. But we've upped it to 6km this peak season,' he said.
Eka revealed that waste along the beaches ' including Jimbaran, Legian, Kuta and Seminyak ' had reached up to 20 tons per day, an astonishing increase from the usual average of around 250 kilograms per day.
He said one hour of collecting waste could only cover 200 meters of the beach.
'The weather is extreme; waves are high, winds are strong and water level increases,' he said.
'We have done our best to collect waste as fast as we can. But we just cannot go against the weather,' he said.
Eka acknowledged tourists' disappointment over the dirty beach but called on them to remain patient. 'We do something immediately, but we also have to consider our workers' safety,' he said.
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