Solutions For Ayung Water Shed Leads to a meeting with The King of Sibang
Discussions in the Grade 9 Jalan Jalan class began with issues of the river pollution and culminated in looking at ways in which we might improve the situation. We focused on the question of how the Ayung Watershed could be restored.
At the back of the bus on the way to the headwaters, it became very clear that to fully understand the river, we needed to understand its role in Balinese culture and religion. Pak Soma worked diligently to make contact with representatives from the local Banjar.
A meeting was arranged to ask the banjar how the river fits into the Balinese world, and
how we can live more in harmony with it? The conversation turned to rubbish and tree
The next thing we knew there came an offer from the King Of Sibang to visit the school.
He told the students there was a demon that lived in the river. She has a palace, but we cannot see it.
The demon will do anything for the King of Sibang.
We asked him how we could live more in harmony with the river? Could we help plant bamboo by the river?
The king said he had arranged trash pickup and tree plantings with his students in the recent past but was concerned about bamboo. He was amenable to planting on landslides especially upriver where more areas are available for planting.
The next step is to propose a regional meeting to set up communication channels to find places to plant and come up with seedlings. The government has offered a grant for tree planting, and the Banjar has been trying to map where trees could go.
The Banjar has drafted, and is in the process of passing a rule, that makes dumping in the river a fineable offense. They hope to propose a similar change at the regional level. Every Saturday a government program in Bandung sees students pick up rubbish. On average 300 tons of rubbish every month from schools in the region. The amount is shrinking and they suspect this means the situation is getting better.
For building the relationship and looking for more areas where we can work together, Grade 9 decided we should have a followup meeting with the king to identify any areas where we can work with them. The class would like to see where planting could happen and how they can we help.