What is River School in West Papua?
The island of Papua has a large number of rivers. Furthermore, the people depend on the rivers for the continuation of their livelihood. They are the source of human life for irrigation, transportation facilities, as well as flora and fauna inhabitants. The rivers and waterways are important so do the way to protect them from harm.
The River School program has this goal in mind upon creation using an ecosystem-based approach. The inauguration of the river school took place on the banks of the Remu River, to be precise at the Hansen Bridge, Sorong City, West Papua. The sole purpose is to educate, inform, and guide the communities living near rivers to protect the environment.
Nowadays, there is a lot of industrial waste contained in the rivers. In addition, some people sometimes throw household garbage giddily. That is why there is a need to preserve the environment for better living conditions. The call is necessary to bring back the initial functions of the rivers.
Not limited to that, there are also natural disasters such as landslides and floods. The River School program aims to, at least, prevent such disasters. So, people will clean up the rivers, maintain clean water, and rejuvenate the existing waterways. To achieve this goal, there must be a collaboration between the government and the public in disaster risk management in river basins. The program requires all parties from the government and the communities to put a stop to the upcoming disaster.
What are the program activities?
Below is the information about the River School program’s activities for the community. Hoping that the program could achieve success in its implementation.
Education and Socialization
Most Papuans do not realize the crucial point of maintaining clean water or knowing the importance of water quality for better living. The inauguration of the River School in West Papua has the goal to change this perspective by instilling the values of sustainable development and environmental sustainability for the future generation.
Through education with an ecosystem-based approach, the program aims to foster strong commitment and the communities’ ability to manage and utilize water and its resources. Within the framework, there is also an expectation for the communities to be aware of the disaster risk reduction movement.
River Cleaning Movement
After the inauguration of the river school movement, the volunteers including from the government, private sectors, and communities carried out the ‘Clean the Remu River’ activity. The reason for this cleaning is that the people living near the Remu river have experienced flooding several times due to the overflow. This activity highlights the joint efforts of many parties to help reduce disaster risk in the future.
The joint efforts in reducing disaster risk are not merely expenditures but have been planned and calculated as development investments. The disaster risk management movement can boost resilience so that future disasters neither might come nor dangerously affect the region’s developmental process. A region can thrive without natural disasters or dangers on the way. There is also a creation of riverbank networks or communications as river restoration agents. This is a part of the joint effort in strengthening and developing disaster risk reduction movements.
Water quality is an essential key for the Papuans to have improved and healthier life. The rivers and waterways are also important for their function in helping irrigation and the masses’ transportation. Though the rivers are polluted because of industrial waste and household garbage, the River School in West Papua focuses on reducing this environmental problem. In addition, the community will learn more about disaster risk management as the prevention of flooding.