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Jakarta Post

The woe of Samarinda

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 17 2013   /  01:51 pm

In a Makroman farming district, half an hour from the center of Samarinda, the chirps and quacks of fowl in rice paddies compete with trucks’ roaring engines.

Samarinda’s administration gave a mining company permission to dig up the earth in the capital’s farming area in 2007. A year after the mine operated, chemicals from the mine seeped into farmers’ water source and entered fish ponds and rice paddies, causing farmers’ yield to fall to half of its original production output, according to Baharudin, a leader of the local farming group.

East Kalimantan has experienced a mining boom in the past decade. The boom has brought foreign and local investors to the area. The pervasiveness of the mining industry is most pronounced in the capital, Samarinda, where mining concessions are granted without the consideration of the local community.

In 2009, the House o...