Second term focus of President Jokowi Human Resource Champion Development Tested in the Suralaya-Salira-Terate Banten route

Children from Elementary School in Salira Village with a background in Suralaya Power Plant. Other coal power, Salira Coal Power Plant (not in the photo) even closer to this school

President Jokowi in his speech stated that the second term priority of his administration was the development of human resources champion. The President stated that the quality of human resources starts from the womb, so there should not be any more stunted births. Mother and child health is key, especially until the age of 7-8 years, which is the golden age.

However, the development of quality human resources will not be fulfilled if the residential area filled by pollution. North Banten is filled with a lot of pollution, especially along the lines of Merak, Suralaya, Salira, Pulo Ampel, Bojonegara and Kramatwatu.

In this route there are Suralaya Coal Fired Power Plants with 5 active chimneys releasing air pollution. These power plants provide electricity for Jakarta city and surrounding areas. But the air pollution effects are spreading to the surrounding area. Another coal-fired power plant that has been operating are the Salira power plant and the Merak Energi power plant. Meanwhile, the Java 7 Power Plant (2 × 991 MW) will be operating in October 2019. This is referred as the inauguration gift of President Joko Widodo for the second period by medias

Rows of power plants and the chemical industry on the the road side, land and stone mining activities in the surrounding mountains make poorer ambient air quality. The leaves of the trees along the road were covered in dust, so the remaining campaigns posters of the politicians were also covered with dust.

A number of kindergartens and elementary schools exist in this area. From the Salira Elementary School, the dirty air coming out of the Suralaya power plant’s chimney is clearly visible. The Suralaya-Salira-Terate route is passed by parents to take and pick up their children from school using motorcycle causing air pollution exposure very worrying . A health worker in this area when talking with staff of the AEER Assosiation (Ecological Action and People Emancipation) said he bought a car because he uses it to take his child to school every day to avoid severe air pollution, not for raising prestige and social status reasons.

This dirty air contains fine particles PM 2.5, SOx, NOx which are harmful to the lungs and heart, especially children and the elderly. Another pollution ingredient is mercury which causes interference to the development of children’s brain tissue thereby reducing the ability to concentrate and learn.

The Suralaya power plant produces pollution located on the Suralaya-Salira-Terate road

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that babies born to mothers who are exposed to air pollution are more likely to be born prematurely and have low body weight which are the main factors causing stunting.

Severe air pollution in the Suralaya-Salira-Terate Line as the location of a large power plant supply to Jakarta can be mitigated by phasing out power plants with poor pollution control, such as Suralaya; the application of pollution control using international standards – can refer to tighter Chinese pollution control standards for Java Power Plant 7 (majority owned by Shenhua Gouhua); and stopping the addition of coal-fired power plants in this route (planned expansion of the Suralaya power plant, Salira, Terate).

Children in Terate Village play with the background of the Java 7 Power Plant (majority owned by Shenhua Guohua) which will operate October 2019.

In addition, mining activities and material trucking traffic need to be restricted along this route so that villages and schools along this path are not exposed to air pollution. The Jokowi’s commitment to develop superior human resources is tested in Suralaya, Terate, Salira lanes so that children in this area are not sacrificed for the sake of fulfilling electricity and other products for the Jakarta and surrounding areas

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