The annual World Cleanup Day is a global movement held every September that unites all the people across the world to clean up litter from beaches, rivers, forests and streets. This September marked the first time Kiabu Village took part in the movement.
The cleanup was held on Sunday, Sept. 12, on Shark Island, an uninhabited island located 45 minutes away from Kiabu Village. It’s a popular recreational spot among the Kiabu people due to its secluded location, crystal white sand that covers the entire island and deep blue waters.
Despite its remoteness, the island, unfortunately, is littered with plastic waste that are washed up on the island. The marine debris don’t only come from Indonesia, there are also plastic bottles of foreign origin there.
On that day, a total of 39 people including us participated in the cleanup. The Kiabu people were all very excited to be part of this event, early in the morning the village women were already busy preparing meals for the trip, the Village Head was seen getting his boat ready and plenty of children wanted to join too.
We departed from Kiabu at eight in the morning when the sea was pretty calm. Once we got there, we distributed garbage backs that we had made to participants and went to different parts of the islands. Some went the front beach, some headed to the back of the island and others looked for marine debris in the bushes. For this cleanup, we wanted to focus on collecting plastic bottles as they were the most common items found on the island.
We were there up until one o’clock in the afternoon. In total, we collected 94 kilograms of plastic bottles from the excursion. We brought them home and took them to the Recycling Centre to be further processed, and we also did not forget to submit the record to the Anambas chapter of the World Cleanup Day organization.
A week after, on the 18th of September, we were in Tarempa, the capital city of Anambas Islands as participants of another World Cleanup Day event, this time the event organizer was the Anambas Islands Provincial Administrations.
Themed Ayo Kita Wujudkan Anambas Bersih dan Bebas Sampah Plastik (Let’s Make Anambas Clean and Free of Plastic Waste) 78 people took part in this event (we were still in the middle of the pandemic, all participants were required to wear masks and had to follow the health protocols).
There was an opening speech from the Regional Secretary, and several Local Agency Heads were also in attendance. On this occasion, the Regional Secretary also officiated a new Waste Bank in Sri Tanjung Village called Berkah Mandiri.
We collected 112 kilograms of waste from this cleanup, 42 kilograms were from Sri Tanjung Village and 70 kilograms came from South Tarempa Village.
Through both these cleanup events on Shark Island and Tarempa, we hope that the communities become more aware of the waste problems in Anambas and come up with initiatives and real changes in order to achieve this year’s theme: a clean Anambas that is free from litter.