This is the view we saw along the rice field’s “subak”, or irrigation, when we went to the aquaponic farm in Ubud. The beautiful rice fields view on our left and right was disturbed by plastic waste which was flowing and stuck in the water stream. This subak waste problem is a concern as it is related to our food, but what is subak? It is a Balinese irrigation system used for planting rice. Subak has been proudly recognized by UNESCO World Heritage in 2012. At the same time, local people seem careless on its cleanliness, some parts of the subak are extremely dirty. The plastic waste in the water over time releases chemicals and substances with the sun heat. Eventually making its way into the rice fields. This means we are consuming toxins from the rice, trace amounts or otherwise.
In Ubud, we have found plastics, cans, diapers, animal manure, wood, etc. It can also damages the rice plantation. Some plastics needs up to 500 years to decay, they contaminate the soil, water, ocean, and air. We can see that local people still have a lack of awareness for the environment around the subak area. We need your support to bring the knowledge to the local people. One of our goals is to educate the children through our ‘Public School Interactive Eco-Training Program’. Hoping the children will change our beautiful island.
Nadya Christina is our Environment intern here at ROLE Foundation from Binus University in Jakarta. Nadya studied International Relations and hope to achieve great things for the environment. Ever since she started interning at ROLE Foundation, she believes that ROLE is the first step in achieving sustainability.