A UN report has given a strong warning: "Rivers in Asia, Latin America and Africa are becoming increasingly polluted, directly threatening the health of more than 300 million people and indirectly threatening food production in many countries."
In Indonesia, there are the world’s most polluted rivers, the most threatened ecosystems but the means of prevention remain clearly insufficient to alleviate this situation.
According to the National Association for the Protection of Waters and Rivers, the "health review” of the world's aquatic environments is very worrying. Two of them will particularly draw our attention: the Citarum River and Patenggang Lake.
The Citarum River
In the Sundanese language, this translates to "the indigo river". Its basin is the largest in the west of the island. Its source is in the south of the island in Mount Wayang and its mouth is where it joins the Java Sea. It represents a source of hydraulic energy supplying the cities of Bandung and Djakarta. This majestic river is today considered to be one of the most polluted in the world. Anarchic economic development, unbridled population growth, urbanisation and massive industrialisation have turned this river into a landfill for the entire region. As a result, it no longer fulfils its basic functions of supplying drinking water. 280 000 tonnes of toxic industrial waste from textile factories in the region are dumped into it every day. The river is filled with pollutants such as mercury, lead, arsenic, household waste, animal and human faeces. The Citarum and its banks that stretch for 297 km, provide the necessary water for the inhabitants of the province of West Java (Bandung and Jakarta (approximately 50,000,000 inhabitants)). Furthermore, they also supply water to the local fauna and flora and irrigate 420,000 hectares of agricultural land.
A colossal task has been taken up by the government of Jakarta: to make the water in the Citarum drinkable by 2025. Our project and our help will support this magnificent challenge.
Lake Patenggang is one of the natural tourist attractions in West Java.
At 1600 metres above sea level, in the village of Ciwidey, it offers a very exotic landscape. Unfortunately, not spared from plastic pollution, it spills into the Citarum which ends up in the Indian Ocean.
Saguling hydroelectric dam
The Saguling hydroelectric dam, which was built in 1983, is located on the Citarum river 30 km from Bandung. The dam is 99 metres high and retains 265 million cubic metres of water. It meets the energy demand of the entire region. The Ocean Initiatives organisation will be a great partner. Thanks to their help through the logistics they offer, we will be able to begin educating and raising awareness within the local population. Our missions and actions will begin on the edge of Lake Saguling.
"Education can do a lot but our good will can achieve even more."
We strive to improve the quality of polluted waters, rivers, lakes and banks in West Java.
The association will seek to develop and facilitate partnerships with local authorities as well as with existing national and international associations. It will call for participatory donations, fundraising, grants, crowfunding and other ancillary income-generating activities necessary for the realization of actions and the social purpose.
"the power of water comes from the source"
"If you want happiness to last for a lifetime, help the next generation."
Who are we?
Three longtime friends, passionate about travel and ecology. In recent years, we have paid particular attention to South Asia and mainly to some little-known regions of Java in Indonesia such as the large lakes, rivers and streams around Bandung. Frightened by the pollution and the damage to these ecosystems, we decided to act and try to stop the plastic haemorrhage. This project is not utopia. It was born out of an immense desire to contribute to maintaining the balance of our planet. This marks the birth of Ocean Guardian. Our objectives are precise, realistic and optimistic. We are fortunate to speak Indonesian and local dialects, to have valuable contacts with motivated villagers who are aware and ready to act. Our concrete actions will focus on educating children at school, sorting waste in villages and meeting with local authorities. We hope that our project will meet the necessary enthusiasm required to carry it out.
"If you don't take change by the hand, it will take you by the throat."
Our missions mainly consist of defending, conserving and protecting the oceans through concrete actions upstream of the problem, by acting at the source of major global plastic pollution.
About Ocean Guardian
Journalist Hanna Schevenels' article will conclude Ocean Guardian's presentation:
The association that fights ocean pollution at the source of the problem.
The project was born and the association is ready to fight.
The concept of Ocean Guardian?
To preserve the oceans and act directly against plastic pollution by carrying out missions of protection, defence and conservation. The Ocean Guardian project was born out of a desire not to remain inactive in the face of the emergency and the health crisis threatening our oceans. More than 8 million tons of plastic end up at the heart of these every year. From plastic bags to straws to cotton buds, the oceans have moved away from the picture of idyllic turquoise waters filled with multicoloured fish. The different types of waste that are present there every year pollute an incredible amount of sites precious to our ecosystem. This waste also threatens the survival of many marine species. The problem is particularly serious in Southeast Asia and especially in Indonesia, where 1.29 million tons of plastic are dumped in the sea each year. This is a state of emergency that is getting worse. To fight this major crisis, the Ocean Guardian association was born.
To act at the source of major global plastic pollution and protect the oceans.
By concentrating its missions in Indonesia and more particularly around the island of Java, Ocean Guardian intends to act upstream of the pollution problem that threatens our oceans. The Indonesian island is responsible for the spillage of 4000 tons of plastic every day. Ocean Guardian will work to prevent this waste from entering the oceans through several concrete actions, such as cleaning up shorelines, lakes and rivers. It will also invest in new technologies, such as micro robots and vacuum barges to improve mission results. In addition to its clean-up actions, the association will focus its efforts on preventive measures such as educating young generations on waste sorting. By making local populations aware of the problems regarding waste, the association plans to achieve long-term results. Its objectives are also based on the creation of optimal and easy-to-use recycling systems. In the long term, Ocean Guardian wishes in particular to expand its activities to the major rivers of Java. The ambition behind these committed projects?
To work for a better, more liveable and more sustainable planet. work for a better,