The Jakarta Post
Residents of Sumbersari village in Garut, West Java, held a rally to protest against leather-tanning factories that dumped untreated wastewater into the Ciwalen River in Sukaregang, a leather-crafting hub, on Friday.
During the rally, the protesters dumped a container of solid waste onto a street and poured water from the Ciwalen River onto it, which emitted unpleasant odors.
The protesters also blocked the factories' wastewater sewer with sacks so that the factories could no longer dump wastewater into the river.
Bengbeng, who organized the protest, said residents living in the vicinity of the Ciwalen River had long complained about unpleasant odors coming from the river.
He demanded that the local government close factories that polluted the river.
Garut Kota district head Bambang Hafid said his side would hold a mediation meeting between the protesters and leather-tanning businesspeople.
Garut Environment, Hygiene and Park Agency secretary Guriansyah said only one out of 54 leather-tanning factories, which have large tanning machines, had its own wastewater treatment plant.
“The number of houses that run home-scale leather tanning [operations], meanwhile, is more than 300,” he said as quoted by kompas.com. (swd)