With land and adequate housing out of reach for many working poor in Indonesia’s Surabaya, some have made their home for decades in abandoned colonial-era warehouses. The squatters say it’s not ideal, but it’s what they can afford, and it’s home.
Catching snakes for their skin used to be a lucrative business in North Java. Now, with imports of snakes increasingly banned abroad and the use of buffalo hide as a substitute, snake catchers in Indonesia may soon have to find other sources of income.
In the 1960s, Bandung experienced a textile boom that brought prosperity and jobs to the area. In the present day, locals complain of endemic pollution and health problems linked to unscrupulous factories dumping their waste in the city’s waterways.
Along West Java’s longest river, the Citarum, chemical pollution, siltation and agriculture waste have made the waterway one of the world’s dirtiest. Those working on its banks say efforts are being made to clean it up. But will they turn the tide?
In Surabaya, Indonesia, the red-light district of Dolly was notorious for crime and violence in the 1980s. Rather than look away, Lilik Sulistiowati moved into the community to care for children living with HIV and others who society left behind.
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, medical waste was an environmental problem in Indonesia, found in almost all the nation’s landfills. This year, a documented rise in medical refuse in Indonesian waterways threatens both the environment and human health.
As COVID-19 has spread across Indonesia, with Jakarta at the centre of viral transmission, the capital’s under-resourced Emergency Ambulance Service and relatively small number of first responders and vehicles have become increasingly overwhelmed.