Jakarta (Greeners) – WALHI, an environmental NGO from Indonesia, demanded five major electronic companies to join effort in recovering abandoned tin mining in Bangka Island. Bangka Island known as a major tin producer in Indonesia and supplies tin for products of Apple, Samsung, Phillips, LG and Sony around the world.
Pius Ginting from Walhi said, tin mining in Bangka Island has caused many environmental and social problems. Many locals had difficulties to access clean water since their wells were polluted from underground mining. Ginting also claimed the abandoned ex mining area have turn to be mosquitoes breed places and made the island hit record as the highest malaria disease per community in Indonesia.
Ginting said, tin mining have been spread trough out the island and finally reach coastal and ocean area, and killed corals. This cost local fishermen to have their daily catch decreased, and forced to sail further for fish.
The broad expanded mining considered ruined Bangka’ magnificent coastal nature and therefore, cost many local tourism business go bankrupt.
In labour view, the mining does not do well either. Walhi assumed in 2012 only, at least a miner died every week cost by neglected labour safety standard.
Thus, Abetnego Tarigan, Executive Director of Walhi acknowledged the mining problem in Bangka can not be viewed only for being legal or illegally according to environmental standard. He admit many locals have been forced to become miners after they can not farming or fishing due to land infertilization, thanks to decades mining.
Therefore, instead of vanishing the mining for good which will make many locals lost their income, Abetnego suggested, mining in Bangka should only be allowed with local farmers, fishermen, local tourism entrepreneurs’ consent. The mining there fore, Abetnego said, should not be performed in the coastal and land area that still have good environmental condition.
Walhi strong demanded the electronic companies which has been using Bangka’s tin to responsible on land and coastal degradation, and join in projects recovering them.
Bangka Island is the third biggest tin producer in the world and supplies many electronics such as handphones, smartphones, and television. Many top brands use it tin in their product such as Apple, Phillips, LG Electronic, and Sony, from so called Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. Samsung also noted as one of the user.* G04