Freeport tailings allegedly cause siltation in Manasari Village in Mimika

Illustration, land formed due to tailings deposit in Timika waters -Jubi/ Pribadi

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Legislative Council’s (DPRP) Special Group chair John NR Gobai said the Manasari Village community suspected siltation of the river around their village, which is located in Far East Mimika District, Mimika Regency, Papua Province.

Based on what residents told Gobai during his recent visit to the Pomako area of Mimika, the siltation was allegedly caused by the tailings of PT Freeport Indonesia.

He said boat drivers expressed difficulty when taking passengers to the Manasari or Fanamo Village in Far East Mimika District via the river to Agimuga District.

“Because there is siltation in the Kamora River and other rivers around the Far East Mimika District, from Manasari to the Agimuga River Estuary,” John Gobai told Jubi on Thursday, August 18, 2022.

Gobai said there were differences between the past and present conditions due to alleged siltation caused by a lot of sediment in the rivers.

“This siltation hampers the route of boats along the river, which is always used by people in Far East Mimika and people heading to Agimuga. According to information from residents, the sediment is suspected to be from PT Freeport Indonesia’s tailings disposal,” he said.

Gobai further asked the Papua Forestry and Environmental Agency to form an independent team to investigate the issue, particularly because the river suspected of silting up provided transportation access to Asmat Regency.

Transportation access in Mimika, Gobai said, is more river and sea routes than land routes, and more water transportation than land transportation because the number of rivers in Mimika Regency is very large. “Likewise in Asmat Regency. This situation will greatly disrupt the lives of the people of Mimika and Asmat, who are inseparable from rivers, sago, and canoes,” he said. (*)

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