Hold your breath… visiting the landfield by Pasquelle van der Jagt

Today is a holiday in Indonesia, just as in the Netherlands they celebrate “Hemelvaartsdag”. We started our day at one of the parks in Surabaya. Here the finalists of the “Prince and Princes award” already gathered, because the next few days the grand finals will be held. Today they got some trainings about the environment and activities you could do, like how to compost. After a short introduction we went to the City Hall. Here the mayor gave a presentation about global warming and its effects. He also showed us some pretty nasty pictures of the pollution of Surabaya. Pollution in the rivers, pollution on the grounds, pollution during traffic jams, etcetera. So the children are made aware of the problem here with waste garbage.

After this we all together went to the landfield. People were all preparing me, put on your mask, breath trough your mouth, it smells really bad over there. Hmm, so I was really wondering what I was going to see over there. Because in the Netherlands we have landfields too of course, but it’s not common that you visit one. So I’ve never been on one. So when we got there, the manager gave us some info over the landfield. He first showed us where they treat their waste water. The smell was so awful.. blegh!

Hereafter we went to the real landfield. The smell over there is really bad. Sometime you get used to a bad smell or anything, but I don’t think that you can get used to this smell. Really bad! So breath trough your mouth, that works a bit. And still, there are people who work on the landfield. They search through the garage and try to find stuff they can use for selling or recycling. So they just walk through all the garbage, all day long. And they have little shelters where they can rust for a while.. but those shelters are on the landfield.. not good! So I hope the children of the Prince and Princess election are as shocked as I was, and that the visit to the landfield makes them aware of the problem in Surabaya. It certainly did it with me.

Now Mandy and I can go working on our plan for next week. What do we want to do on the schools near the coastal area. I think we want to give them a short presentation about the problem, with shocking pictures. Hopefully it will open their eyes too, that there is work to be done for a better environment here in Surabaya. For now and for in the future. The mentality of the people (children) has to change. We hope we can change it by making them aware of the problem by doing some little activities at first. If we make the children aware, hopefully they will make their friends aware too, and maybe their parents. And I the future they can teach their children about the environment management and garbage management to keep everything clean here… just as I grew up!!

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