Local residents in Jembrana regency’s Pengambengan village went out to the streets to protest against plans to build a medical waste facility in the area yesterday, as they fear it may negatively impact the local community and their livelihoods.

“We firmly reject the development of a medical waste facility here. Let Pengambengan village be a fishery center. Don’t bring hazardous waste here, because we fear it might destroy the environment,” Humaidi, who coordinated the protest, said.

According to local reports, dozens of local residents paraded with banners and collected signatures from passersby to support their cause. Humaidi explained that they have seen how hazardous and toxic waste, referred to as B3 in Indonesia, have affected other areas. 

“We view hazardous waste as a potential danger to people’s health,” Humaidi said.

He added that there are many fish processing facilities in Pengambengan, which may demand fewer of local fishermen’s catch for fear of toxic waste contamination, should the waste facility be built. 

It is not yet clear which companies or investors are planning to build the medical waste facility, but local news outlets said there are at least two. 

Pengambengan village Chief, Kamaruzaman, said that they are still looking for a solution that will serve the local community. 

“If there are more negative impacts, then of course the village will reject [the proposal]. We are still trying to find a solution, so as not to harm citizens. The most important thing is to keep Pengambengan safe,” the chief was quoted as saying.

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