Pertamina Oil Spill; Fish Farmers Demand Compensation



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Karawang - A number of fish farmers in Cemara Jaya Village, Karawang, West Java demanded Pertamina compensate them following the oil spill in its Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) facility. The incident had contaminated their milkfish farms since Sunday, July 21.

    A farmer Acing Ismail, 55, hoped the state gas and oil company immediately pay a compensation. He claimed to have not known when the corporate will pay. “We are still waiting,” Acing told Tempo, Wednesday, July 31.

    Based on Tempo observation, several coastal areas of Karawang are still polluted by the oil spill despite the areas have been cleaned up. “It’s been a week,” the fish farmer added.

    According to Acing, some farmers were forced to harvest early because of the pollution. He even experienced loss as he recently sowed 1.5 million fish seeds from Bali that valued Rp40 million.

    Besides, water pollution also affected entrepreneurs around the area, especially those in the food sector. In Samudera Baru Beach, for example, the number of visitors declined since the beach was polluted.

    Meanwhile, Karawang Regent Cellica Nurrachadiana appealed to operators of the tourist beaches across the region to temporarily close the business. “Because the water is polluted and it’s categorized as harmful. We are worried that tourists will get itchy skin there,” said Cellica on Thursday, August 1.

    The regent said that she had ordered all village heads to write down the losses, yet she did not know yet when the compensation would be distributed. She also urged state firm to be transparent in light of the environmental impact of the oil spill, and so open a health post and provide clean water for locals.

    Pertamina cannot escape from these responsibilities,” Cellica underlined.