Young People, Key to Environmental Success in Namatota

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Competing for the longest trash lining is an effort to introduce environmental hygiene to community in Namatota. (EcoNusa/Alan Mahami Ambrau)

Kaimana Regency is renowned with its natural splendor. Most of the region is covered by water openly facing the Arafuru Sea. One of the unquestionable splendid villages here is Namatota, which is commonly called the Kaimana’s hidden gem. In 2021, this village was listed in the top 300 spots in the Indonesia Tourism Village Award.

Namatota Village is an hour away by boat from the city of Kaimana in West Papua. There are many natural and historical tourism spots in the village and the surrounding islands. Namatota Village is surrounded by charming coast as the natural tourism spot. On the eastern coast, we can enjoy sunrise. Sunrise can also be adored in the hilly areas nearly to the local residence. On the western coast, there are port and gazebo for leisure while enjoying the sunset. Besides, Erana Beach with its fine white sand is also the best spot to enjoy sunset. 

Despite the attractive tourism destination potential, Namatota in fact still copes with trash issue. In addition to domestic waste from local resident, trash also comes from the other region. 

Read also: Waimon Community Dreams to Manage Shrimp in Bambu Island

Namatota is the entrance to Triton Bay in which waste comes with the water flow from Kaimana and the surrounding villages in such a way that the debris covers along the beaches. Unfortunately, the local community lacks awareness on waste cleanup. The locals still irresponsibly drop their litter and consider that waste existence is common issue. As a result, waste covers the sea and beach surfaces.

Some of the community still think that cleaning up the beach deserve tips or wage provided by the village administrative. Besides, the dissenting political affiliation following the general election of Kaimana Regent in 2020 has affected the life and community perspective to trash issue. “So, it seems the winning group after the local election does not care about the cleanliness of the beach, because they assume that it is the village administrative and the loser during the election that should bear the responsibility,” said Alosius Number, the Head of EcoNusa’s Office in Kaimana.

The situation leads the locals not to care about their surrounding environment. The village administrative has serious concern with this issue. But, it was hard to call the local community to clean up Namatota beach and its surrounding. “Another problem comes from the absence of trash dump site agreed by all parties and thus the community drops their waste to the sea,” added Alosius.  

Read also: The Fate of Democracy and Environment are at Youngsters’ Hands

Considering the fact, it needs a solution to build local awareness on how to make their environment clean and sustainable. The key lies on the young generation. EcoNusa made an initiative by calling children in the village to clean their environment. One of the approaches is by inviting those children to learn about environment and waste management.

They took part in an activity in December 2021. There were around 40 children of elementary school gathering in the beach. They were divided into some groups. They were urged to compete each other by cleaning up the beach. The children were enthusiastically collecting waste and selecting plastics from organic waste. 

With such an activity, young generation learned from their real condition and perceived the impact of waste to the environment. The activity then could trigger the other local people to take part in beach cleanup on the following days. “At least, the environmental awareness has been inducted to young generation,” said Alosius.

Read also: Raimuti Island, The Stunning Island is Sinking 

Waste problem actually has long been taken into the consideration of the local government. In June 2021, Kaimana Regent, Freddy Thie, established a Local Technical Executive Unit for an Integrated Waste Problem. The formation was intended to create Kaimana Zero Waste region in the future. This should also go in line with public understanding on environment. 

Freddy reminded all parties that beach should be kept clean and charming and therefore waste in Kaimana should be well managed. “If we speak honestly, there are still much plastic waste in our beaches and they will destroy sea life if we do not do anything,” said Freddy as quoted as saying in the official website of Kaimana Regency.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi & Nur Alfiyah

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