Sea of Trash AS the waste in muara Angke continues to grow so too does the sanitation problems

Surrounding the colourful boats in Muara Angke, plastic trash can be found floating around like a sea of jellyfish - but it's not just the marine life this trash is killing.

Indonesia produces over 64 million tonnes of waste each year, with its capital Jakarta contributing with over 2.1 million tonnes.

Currently, Indonesia can only manage 50 per cent of it's daily waste. Everything else that isn't disposed of carefully ends up in the surrounding oceans.

Due to the lack of a proper waste disposal system and awareness on environmental issues, the rubbish in Muara Angke keeps growing.

As it stands, Indonesia is ranked second among the 20 most polluted in the world in terms of mismanaged plastic waste.

In Indonesia, trash is dumped anywhere and everywhere.

The rubbish in Muara Angke has already destroyed some of the mangroves in the area.

With the mangroves destroyed, the fish have been migrating elsewhere.

The rubbish has not only been affecting the environment, but the sanitation of locals as well.

With nowhere to dispose of it, the rubbish in the fishing community keeps growing.

In Muara Angke, the access to piped water is very limited.

Due to low earnings, locals are forced to bathe and wash cloths using the murky, rubbish filled water from surrounding fish ponds.

Siti, a resident in Muara Angke, earns roughly 25000 RUP per day (AU $2.50) from her clam cracking business.

It costs Siti 10000 RUP (AU $1.00) each day to buy clean water for drinking and cooking. Costing nearly half of her daily wage, she earns barely enough to cover her living expenses.

She admitted bathing in clean water wasn't one of her priorities.

Siti also explained that itchy skin was common among the community and that she uses talcum powder on her children.

"We cover the children in powder. It stops itching" she said.

" I'm not disgusted by it, no."

Children are covered in talcum powder to stop the itching.

A study released by the World Bank's Water and Sanitation program revealed that only 57% of Indonesian households had easy access to a private place to urinate and defecate.

Poor sanitation and poor hygiene causes over 120 million disease episodes and 50,000 premature deaths annually.

The study also found that 90 per cent of shallow wells are contaminated with coliform bacteria and heavy metals.

Poor sanitation is costing the Indonesian economy $6.3 billion per year and is expected to increase significantly.

The Indonesian Government has pledged AU $1 billion per year to reduce rubbish in its waters by 70 per cent by 2025. It is hoped with less rubbish, the sanitation in Muara Angke will improve.

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