Waste Management in Purwomartani Village, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Name: Andrea Melissa Visia Rosselini

Age: 27

Country: Indonesia

Waste Management in Purwomartani Village, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

My name is Andrea Melissa Visia Rosselini, or Melissa for short, but usually people call me by my first name, Andrea. I come from a village named Purwomartani in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I was born here, and I have been living here for more than 20 years. Purwomartani is a nice village, located about 25km from Merapi mountain, the air is cooler being compared to downtown, and it is surrounded by rice fields and natural rivers ecosystem. As I live in a tropical country, everything is always green through the year, and almost everything grows here.

We usually have rainy season from September until February and dry season from March until August, but the seasons have scarily changed, especially in the past decade. Traditional farmers used to plant paddies and any other crop such as cassava using the traditional counting of the seasons, as different crops would grow well in specific season. It used to be accurate as the seasons were always in the same schedule, but now, no longer. Seasons here, as I believe in many parts of the world, change rapidly and unpredictable. Now we can't tell in what season we are as it is always hot during the day, around 30°C but suddenly it rains, and the temperature drops at night time, around 18°C or less, which most people around here found that is quite cold, especially with the blowing wind.

I live near a local traditional market that sells groceries and raw meat. The traditional market here is the perfect presentation of common local markets in Indonesia, the hygiene and the waste management still needs to be improved a lot. People usually mix all kind of waste, plastic, food leftover, everything in a plastic bag, and thrown away just what it is, anywhere, even in the river, or  worse, burn it. We actually have a garbage car collected the waste from every household, and from the market also, but not everyone is using it because there is a monthly payment fee, in which it is affordable when we divide it into 30 days of a month, but still, affordable or not it depends on everyone, on how each and everyone sees it, and I personally think it is more of a choice. This is what is underlying the problem, money and money again. People want everything to be free, and some think that burning the waste, any form of the waste, is the perfect solution. They don't see it in long term, that the smoke caused from burning the waste will cause serious health issues and most importantly , harming the planet we live in. This planet earth is our responsibility to take care of, whatever happened to it, we all feel it and the damage will be felt in not only in decades, but more than that, like even for centuries also.

The main problem here is the mentality itself, people need to be aware more on the environmental and social issue, as this is what certainly be happening here, and we face it everyday. Raising people's awareness takes much time and effort, also it is a lifetime process, as this is the thing we always need to do daily and continuously, not just a one time timing action, unless it would be useless. I personally did some local campaigns promoting nature based solution, to do the most possible realistic ways to reduce global warming, such as replacing the massive usage of plastic bags into cloth bags, which is reusable and eco friendly, decreasing the usage of food disposable packs and cutleries into personal lunch boxes, and the last but not least, is the waste management. Convincing people in general, especially we who live in a village, not to burn any waste, is hard. Some think the smoke from the waste burning will get rid the mosquitoes,  which is not really true. The smoke caused from the burning is usually very dark, almost black, and it is suffocating. People don't get it how dangerous this smoke is. It might cause lung cancer in the long run, and those who are sensitive to smoke, will cough for a long term, like me.