Lessons from the Indonesian Experience
Edited by Michael Faure and Andri Wibisana
Chapter 10: The myths of environmental compensation in Indonesia: lessons from the Sidoarjo mudflow
It all began on 29 May 2006. On that day, a mix of hot steam, water, and mud erupted in the middle of a rice field in Porong district, Sidoarjo, East Java. This eruption occurred around 150 metres from an oil-drilling well, operated under a joint venture between two Indonesian oil companies, i.e. La pindo Brant as and Medco, and an Australian company named Santos. Until now, more than 130 000 cubic metres of hot mud is erupted each day, creating a mudflow that inundates village after village, and forces Rumiyah and thousands of fellow villagers to take refuge in temporary shelters around Porong. The mudflow has really uprooted the people from their homes, land, jobs, and normal lives. Unfortunately, the mudflow has no sign of ceasing, and neither do the victims’ sufferings.
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