Fires and haze return to Indonesia as peat protection bid falls short

first_imgBanner image: A group of locals in West Kalimantan participates in a flag-raising ceremony amid toxic haze from nearby peat fires. Image by Aseanty Pahlevi/Mongabay Indonesia.  Fires on peatlands on Indonesia’s Borneo and Sumatra islands have flared up again this year after relatively fire-free dry seasons in 2016 and 2017.The government has enacted wide-ranging policies to restore peatland following the disastrous fires of 2015 that razed an area four times the size of Grand Canyon National Park.However, the fires this year have sprung up in regions that have been prioritized for peat restoration, suggesting the government’s policies have had little impact.Officials and activists are also split over who to blame for the fires, with the government citing smallholder farmers, and environmentalists pointing to large plantation companies. JAKARTA/PONTIANAK/PEKANBARU — Like their compatriots across Indonesia, a group of residents in the Bornean city of Pontianak celebrated the country’s Independence Day on Aug. 17 with a flag-raising ceremony.But for them, the simple act of hoisting the Red-and-White was a physically taxing endeavor, thanks to the toxic haze billowing from a smoldering plot of peatland nearby. The sound of wood crackling in the fire could be heard as the participants, their surgical masks doing nothing to keep the smoke out of their eyes, stood through the ceremony. When it was over, they returned to what they were doing: working to put out the pockets of fire flaring up from the mulch-rich peat soil.Beni Sulastiyo is one of the leaders of this group of residents of Pontianak, the capital of the province of West Kalimantan, who have banded together as volunteer firefighters. He says they see the fire problem as something that the whole community, and not just the government, needs to address.“This should be a shared responsibility for everyone. As members of the community, we’re on the same page in helping the government,” he says.Ateng Tanjaya is nearly 70, and has worked as a volunteer firefighter in Pontianak for more than 40 years. The work is often thankless, he says, and the hardships legion: lack of hoses and fire equipment, shortage of water, and scant funding and logistical support.For these volunteers, the fires won’t end any time soon. The dry season is kicking in, and after a relatively haze-free 2016 and 2017, conditions this year look ripe for the fires to grow out of control.Fires smoldering from a peat forest in West Kalimantan. Image by Aseanty Pahlevi/Mongabay Indonesia.Deadly heatThere have been nearly 2,200 fire hot spots recorded across Indonesia between Jan. 1 and Aug. 14, according to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s leading green NGO. West Kalimantan recorded the highest number of any province, at 779.At least four people are confirmed to have died in the fires in the province. The latest victim, a 69-year-old farmer in Sintang district, reportedly died while trying to put out a blaze on his land on Aug. 19. Six days earlier, a family of three in Melawi district died in their burning house.In Pontianak, the haze has sometimes been so thick that visibility is limited to 5 meters (16 feet). Flights into and out of the city’s Supadio International Airport are under constant threat of being cancelled or diverted whenever visibility drops below 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). Elsewhere across the province, schools were ordered shut on Aug. 20 when the haze worsened.Satellite imagery from the Global Forest Watch platform shows smoke plumes in the most affected areas, including Pontianak and Ketapang district.A map showing the distribution of fire alerts in the past week in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, NASA FIRMS. “VIIRS Active Fires.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on Aug. 25, 2018 (globalforestwatch.org).Air quality in Pontianak has been declining in recent weeks, according to data from the national weather agency, the BMKG, uploaded to the global monitoring platform IQAIR Air Visual. This has been marked by an increase in the concentration of tiny carcinogenic particles known as PM2.5 in the air.These particles are small enough to enter the bloodstream; long-term exposure to them can cause acute respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease.PM2.5 concentrations crossed into dangerous territory on Aug. 19 and 23, when the average daily levels registered at 73.5 and 79 micrograms per cubic meter, respectively — triple the World Health Organization’s guideline level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour period.Peat fires in Suka Damai village, Rokan Hilir district, Riau, Indonesia, have destroyed palm oil plantations, houses, cars and motorcycles. Image by Zamzami/Mongabay Indonesia.‘Shoot on sight’It’s a similar story across the Karimata Strait from Borneo, on the island of Sumatra. Norton Marbun, a resident of Rantau Benuang village in Riau province, says the fires there began on Aug. 14, razing the villagers’ oil palm farms.He was out in the fields helping fight the flames, he says, and almost didn’t notice the fire closing in on his house, where his wife and children were sheltering. He rushed back to find the house, which he’d just finished building three months earlier after 11 years of saving up, filled with smoke. His wife didn’t want to leave — the house was all they had, she said — and Norton says he had to drag her and the kids out as the flames bore down.They were barely out when a gas canister exploded inside the house. “If I’d been even 10 minutes late, maybe my family would have been skeletons inside the house,” Norton says.They lost everything with their house, including two motorcycles. The family has since moved to a neighboring village. But even there they can’t escape from the haze.“Now my children are having difficulty breathing due to the haze,” Norton says.As growing forest and peat fires fan the haze across Riau, the military has been roped into the effort to fight the fires. A local military commander says nearly all the fires are set deliberately, and has issued a shoot-on-sight order for anyone caught doing so. (It’s not clear how this would be justified; Indonesian law has clear statutes proscribing extrajudicial shootings by law enforcement.)Firefighters extinguish fires in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia.Policy failure?Forest and peat fires are an annual occurrence in Indonesia. In 2015, the country suffered one of its worst burning seasons in years, with more than 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles) of land razed — an area four times the size of Grand Canyon National Park. The resultant haze sickened hundreds of thousands people in Indonesia and spread into Malaysia and Singapore.On the heels of that disaster, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced a series of measures aimed at preventing future fires. These include an ambitious plan to restore 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of degraded peatland and imposing a moratorium on peat clearance.The policies seem to have paid off, with a significant reduction in the number of hotspots in 2016 and 2017. Last year, officials recorded zero days with haze resulting from forest fires.The government has repeatedly cited those figures as proof that its policies are working. But some of this year’s fires have flared up in regions prioritized by the government for peat restoration, including West Kalimantan and Riau.Walhi, the environmental watchdog, says it has detected hotspots within peat hydrological units, the areas of peatland bordered by rivers or other bodies of water.“The fact that this year the number of hotspots is very high in West Kalimantan shows that efforts to improve peat governance in the province have failed,” Anton P. Widjaya, director of Walhi’s West Kalimantan chapter, said at a recent press conference in Jakarta.He said Walhi had compared the number of hotspots in peat areas before and after the government launched its program under the auspices of the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), and found no improvement.“It turned out the number of hotspots didn’t differ that much,” Anton said. “So the work that the BRG has done on the ground hasn’t had a significant impact over the short term. The fact is that fires are still happening in these priority areas during the dry season.”Riko Kurniawan, the director of Walhi’s Riau chapter, said the return of the fires in the province this year showed the government’s programs had been boosted in the previous two years by a less-severe dry season.“Sure, there was no haze in Riau in 2016 and 2017, but that’s because the dry seasons those years were wetter, and because the government did its best to extinguish fires,” Riko said at the press conference. “But what about peat restoration and protection? As far as we’re concerned, that’s stagnant.”Ali Anas, the head of the Rantau Benuang village in Rokan Hilir district, Riau, Indonesia, takes a photo of the burning palm oil plantation in his village. Image by Zamzami/Mongabay Indonesia.Rewetting peatBRG head Nazir Foead says the government’s peat restoration efforts might not be enough to prevent this year’s fires simply because of the sheer size of peat areas that have been degraded and are thus prone to burning again.He cites the case of a village in Riau that was included in the peat restoration program last year. The village is surrounded by dozens of square kilometers of peatland that have to be rewetted to prevent fires from breaking out. To this end, the villagers blocked the canals that were previously dug to drain the land in preparation for planting.But the work only took place two months before the onset of the dry season, and not all of the canals could be blocked in time.“And indeed, fires happened this year on the edge of the village that hadn’t been restored yet,” Nazir says.Even after drainage canals have been blocked, it can take years of rains before a peat area is restored to its original wet, sponge-like condition.“If all the canals have been blocked, does that ensure there’ll be no more fire? Not really,” Nazir says. “Because the peatland has been dried out for so long, and so when the canals are blocked, the peatland isn’t immediately rewetted.”In addition to working with villages that are prone to fires, the peat restoration program also requires companies to restore degraded peatland inside their concessions. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has approved the peat restoration plans of 45 timber plantation companies and 107 oil palm and rubber plantation firms, according to Karliansyah, the ministry official in charge of environmental damage mitigation.The ministry is still waiting for 80 more oil palm and rubber plantation companies and more than 30 timber plantation companies to submit and revise their restoration plans, he added.“I guarantee that the 45 timber companies and the 107 plantation companies have done [peat restoration],” Karliansyah said. “But outside those companies, there might still be degraded peatland. If the weather is dry and there’s a small fire, then the fire could spread.”Fires engulf a palm oil plantation in Rokan Hilir district, Riau, Indonesia. Image by Zamzami/Mongabay Indonesia.Trading blameThe ministry’s fire mitigation chief, Raffles B. Pandjaitan, says this year’s increase in hotspots coincides with the start of the land-clearing season in West Kalimantan, where local farmers practice a traditional method of slash-and-burn called gawai serentak.He says the farmers take advantage of the dry season, which peaks in August and September, to burn their land, after which they begin planting.“It’s during this slash-and-burn season that the risk of fires is at its greatest,” Raffles said in a press release. “If we don’t keep the slash-and-burn practice under control, the fires will spread to other, bigger plantations.”Walhi has refuted the government’s claim, saying many of the hotspots it has detected are in the concessions of large companies, not the farms of smallholders. The group says there have been 765 fire spots in corporate concessions so far this year.Walhi executive director Nur Hidayati says it’s likely the government is blaming smallholders for this year’s fires because its own firefighting efforts so far have been focused on areas close to these villages.“But [fires on] companies’ concessions that are far from villages are being ignored,” she told Mongabay in Jakarta recently.Walhi spokeswoman Khalisah Khalid says that while some indigenous communities continue to practice slash-and-burn clearing, they do so in a way that keeps the fire contained. This keeps the fires from spreading outside the communities’ land and damaging the environment, according to a 2016 Walhi study on how traditional communities manage peatlands.“Indigenous peoples have always been blamed for causing forest and peat fires,” Khalisah says. “But as this study shows, there are 20 steps that the Dayak indigenous tribe have to go through when they want to cultivate peatland.”She also notes that a 2009 law that allows smallholders to clear land by burning up to 2 hectares (5 acres) — a stipulation aimed at preserving traditional methods of land clearing. By blaming traditional farmers for this year’s fires, the government has failed to understand the importance of local wisdoms about farming on peat, Khalisah says.Walhi attributes the outbreak of fires this season on companies that went unpunished for previous fires and were thus emboldened to continue to the practice.The government itself is also to blame for preventing the fires. That, at least, is the judgment of a court in Central Kalimantan province, which recently ruled in favor of a citizen lawsuit calling on the president and various ministers and other senior officials to be held accountable for the 2015 fires. In their suit, the plaintiffs argued that the government failed in its duty of protecting residents of Central Kalimantan from the impact of the fires.The respondents in the lawsuit include the president; the ministers of environment, agriculture, land, and health; and the governor and provincial legislature of Central Kalimantan.In its ruling, the high court in Palangka Raya, the provincial capital, ordered the respondents to pass regulation to mitigate land and forest firesThe government, however, is appealing the case to the Supreme Court, to the dismay of activists.“I think there’s no need for the president to be defensive and file an appeal,” Walhi water and ecosystem campaigner Wahyu A. Pradana told local media. “What the president should do is obey all the orders in the ruling, because they’re for the sake of the people.”Walhi has also called on the authorities to take action against companies with fires on their concessions, instead of going after local farmers. The environment ministry in mid-August sealed off concessions held by five companies in Kubu Raya district, West Kalimantan. It did not identify the companies by name.“The government is very serious in handling land and forest fires,” Rasio Ridho Sani, the ministry’s head of law enforcement, said in a press release. “This move is to support our law enforcement effort so that there’s a deterrent effect. We will keep monitoring other burned locations using satellite and drone.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Air Pollution, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Haze, Indigenous Peoples, Law Enforcement, Palm Oil, Pollution, Protected Areas, Pulp And Paper, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Southeast Asia Haze, Southeast Asian Haze, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Read More »

Fires tear through East Java park, threatening leopard habitat

first_imgAuthorities in East Java, Indonesia, are trying to stop a wildfire from spreading into core zone of the Coban Wisula forest, home to Javan leopards.The fire is burning within Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, a major tourist attraction. An iconic landscape in the park, known as Teletubbies Hill, has already gone up in flames.A local NGO is monitoring the situation to make sure none of the leopards are flushed out of their habitat and into contact with humans, which could turn violent. MALANG, Indonesia — Wildfires are sweeping across a savanna and protected rainforest in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in Java, home to one of the world’s rarest leopard subspecies and other threatened wildlife.Thirty hectares (74 acres) have burned since Sept. 1. Most of the burned land is savanna, while the rest is cypress and acacia forest.“Initially, we observed eight [fire] hotspots,” said Jhon Kennedie, the head of the park management. “Then it increased to 274.”Authorities are doing what they can to control the blaze. Patrol cars were being used to transport water to the site, before a fire truck arrived on site.Firefighters are trying to prevent the blaze from spreading into the heart of the Coban Trisula rainforest, home to the Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas), a critically endangered species, as well as the endangered Javan hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi), the national bird of Indonesia.“Leopards and eagles breed in there,” Jhon said of Coban Trisula. “We’ve seen them on camera traps.”A Javan leopard. Image by Cloudtail the Snow Leopard/Flickr.Jhon said he suspected the fires stemmed from a campfire set by local people. The location where it started is typically frequented by locals to collect firewood, look for medicinal plants and hunt birds. “The location is not a tourist attraction, the perpetrators are not tourists,” Jhon said.He said the perpetrators may have come at night and made a fire to stay warm. The fire then likely spread out of control and into the nearby savanna.The park authority has issued a directive warning residents not to start campfires. There are a number of signs to this effect as well.Starting a campfire in the national park is a crime, Jhon said, and the perpetrators face jail time. The park authority is collaborating with the district police to hunt down the perpetrators. “So that it doesn’t happen again,” Jhon said.The fires have even extended to the so-called Teletubbies Hill, an iconic spot in the national park that resembles the setting of the popular children’s TV show. The hilly area typically stays green throughout the year.A wall of fire in the park savanna this week. Image courtesy of the park authority.Rosek Nursahid, the head of protection at Forest & Fauna (ProFauna), an NGO, said he was concerned about the ecological impact of the fires. Rising temperatures and smoke would affect wildlife. The area is also home to Javan langurs (Trachypithecus auratus), a type of Old World monkey, and a deer species known as the red muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak). Bird migratory routes will also be disturbed, he said.The Javan leopard, Rosek said, is very sensitive. If the fire is not resolved immediately, the animal might be forced out of its forest habitat and into contact with humans. This hasn’t happened yet, he said. Moreover, their habitat is already narrowing because of the tourism development.“So far there haven’t been any serious incidents,” Rosek said. “We’re keeping an eye on the situation.”Authorities are struggling to extinguish the fires on steep terrain.“The fire is spreading, it’s hard to put out,” said Yhogi Hadi Setiawan, deputy chief of the local police. “The wind is strong.”Mount Bromo, the centerpiece of the national park, is still open to visitors; only one of the four gateways to the mountain is closed.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on Sept. 4, 2018.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by mongabayauthorcenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Disasters, Endangered, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fires, Forest Fires, Forestry, Forests, Law Enforcement, Leopards, Mammals, Mountains, National Parks, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Savannas, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife last_img read more

Read More »

In an Indonesian village, compressor diving for fish is a dangerous business

first_imgEnvironment, Fishing, Oceans Article published by mongabayauthor At least 11 men from Indonesia’s Seriwe village, on the island of Lombok, have died in compressor diving accidents. Others have suffered varying degrees of paralysis.The accidents are made more likely because the divers use cheap, makeshift rigs that tend not to include pressure gauges.When their husbands suffer an injury and are unable to work, responsibility for providing for the family falls on the divers’ wives. SERIWE, Indonesia – Sunardi remembers the sky lit up red with sunset as he checked the bag his wife had prepared: Change of clothes, check. Cigarettes, dinner, check. He examined his other bag to make sure his diving equipment — flashlight, goggles, breathing tube — hadn’t been left behind. Check.He and four other men — another diver, a captain and two air-compressor operators — were ready to set sail that day in 2016 from his home village of Seriwe, on the island of Lombok, near the better-known island of Bali. They were headed for the waters off Gerupuk, another village 20 kilometers (12 miles) down the coast.The crew arrived after dark, which was good: Fish are easier to catch at night, and lobsters are more active too. Sunardi, 36, stood to earn up to 1 million rupiah ($67) on this outing — more than half the minimum monthly wage for this part of Indonesia. It depended on how many dives he was willing to do.In Gerupuk, the crew switched on the air compressor and attached a hose that ran 60 meters (200 feet) to a dive regulator. Sunardi was ready. With the moon high in the sky, he picked up his speargun, put the regulator in his mouth and slipped quietly into the sea.Sunardi started diving in elementary school. By the time he was an adult he had become known as a skilled compressor diver. It was a reputation that had won him work across the Indonesian archipelago, but which consistently tested the limits of his body.After that first dive in Gerupuk on that night in 2016, Sunardi felt a tingling in his left foot. It wasn’t an altogether unusual feeling. The locals had a name for it: aiq keram, or “the cramps.” But the condition isn’t as innocuous as it sounds. Aiq keram can presage the onset of decompression sickness, a much more serious condition that can be fatal.Sunardi was determined to keep going. He was trying to earn enough money to build a house.Midway through his third dive, at around 2 a.m., Sunardi began to feel claustrophobic and decided to ascend. He knew to be careful: coming up too quickly could cause decompression sickness.After climbing aboard the boat, he knew something wasn’t right. This time, it was both legs. He lay down and prayed. The crew took him to a hospital two hours away in the city of Mataram. There, Sunardi was placed in a hyperbaric chamber with three times the normal air pressure to help him recover. But his condition only seemed to worsen.The numbness had spread up both legs to his waist. His legs were spasming. At one point he looked down and realized with horror that he had soiled his pants.In the two years since, Sunardi’s been to the hyperbaric tube eight times, with little to show for it save a mounting pile of medical bills. He still can’t move his legs. To pay for the treatment, he’s had to sell his boat and valuable pieces of furniture.“If I step on a nail, it doesn’t even hurt,” Sunardi said, striking his calf. “It’s like I don’t have legs.”The island of Lombok is home to 3 million people, mostly Muslims. Image by Gunakarta/Wikimedia Commons.In Seriwe, Sunardi isn’t alone. The village is known for the high number of men who have been paralyzed, or worse, from diving.Locals recite the names of some of the men who died from complications related to unsafe diving: Jumasih, Amaq Gonda, Sahram, Bandi, Dadi, Munawir, Kero, Burhanudin, Rusman, Seman, Mastah.Among those who have suffered permanent injuries: Reji, Zaenal Abidin, Majmu, Halil, Nurman, Saidi, Joni, Combo. It’s a problem linked to the improvised dive equipment, lack of safety training, and the drive to push limits in order to earn more money.In recreational scuba diving, people are taught to diligently monitor air pressure and immersion time with the help of gauges and dive watches. Doing so ensures the body can adjust safely to changes in water pressure, so as to prevent decompression sickness, also known as the bends.The divers of Seriwe cannot afford such equipment. They use cheap, makeshift rigs that tend not to include pressure gauges. Combined with the incentive to spend extended time in deep water chasing big fish, these men put their lives, and the livelihoods of their families, on the line.A fisherman in Gerupuk and his makeshift diving equipment. Image by Fathul Rakhman for Mongabay.When a diver from Seriwe dies or becomes disabled, more often than not it falls to his wife to make up for the lost income. Sainah, Sunardi’s wife, found work harvesting and drying seaweed. The village is renowned for its seaweed production, but the job is seasonal, and when there’s no work to be had, Sainah turns to family for loans.“I just make do with menciro,” Sunardi says — handouts for helping other fishermen tie up their boats after returning from sea.Women sort through seaweed in Seriwe. Image by Fathul Rakhman for Mongabay.Herawati, a graduate of Australian National University who has researched the economy of Seriwe, said such financial challenges are exacerbated by gender norms that limit the ability of households to adapt.In many cases, the disabled men in Seriwe could easily take jobs as seaweed farmers, Herawati found. But the widespread belief that seaweed farming is “women’s work” prevents them from doing so.Gender norms can also prevent female heads of households from accessing loans. Creditors “just assume they won’t be able to pay the loan back,” Herawati said. This includes the Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries, which commits considerable resources to poverty alleviation, but targets the programs at male heads of households as the recipients, Herawati said; women are rarely able to gain access to these services on their own.“These families should actually be getting special targeting given the disruptions to their lives,” Herawati said.In Seriwe, it’s a common story. Despite the risks compressor diving poses to men and their families, the industry continues to hold sway; the rewards of good money continue to outstrip the risks of death, injury and poverty.Sunardi’s family used to be relatively well off. When he could dive, the family could afford nice things. They were planning to send their children to college.Though it remains unclear if the feeling in his legs will ever return, Sunardi is sure of one thing.“I can’t go to sea again,” he says.Sunardi walking on crutches. He lost the use of his legs in a diving accident. Image by Fathul Rakhman for Mongabay.Correction (Sept. 29, 2018): An earlier version of this article referred to the activities undertaken by Sunardi and his neighbors as scuba spearfishing. By definition, scuba refers to an underwater breathing apparatus that is completely independent of any surface supply. The fishermen’s craft is more accurately described as compressor diving.The story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on Sept. 20, 2018.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Read More »

Baby Tamaraws close in on UAAP title

first_imgFar Eastern University-Diliman overcame a slow start escape defending champion National University, 66-65, and move closer to winning the championship Tuesday in the UAAP Season 79 juniors basketball tournament.The Baby Tamaraws heaved a sigh of relief as NU’s John Lloyd Clemente misfired on his game-tying at the buzzer after FEU slotman Kenji Roman bungled two free throws that could iced the game.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Roman finished with 12 points and eight rebounds while Xyrus Torres added 10 points and five boards for FEU.LJ Gonzales scored only seven points had 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Baby Tamaraws.Clemente came through with 25 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Bullpups.Winderlich Coyuca added 11 points, three boards and two assists, while Amsali contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two assists for NU.The ScoresFEU 66 – Roman 12, Torres 10, Sapinit 9, Celzo 8, Abarrientos 8, Gonzales 7, Gabane 5, Jabel 2, Baclay 2, Bieren 2, Gloria 1, Mariano 0.NU 65 – Clemente 25, Coyoca 11, Amsali 10, Peñano 9, Sarip 5, Manalang 3, Malonzo 2, Atienza 0, Calleja 0, Fortea 0, Peralta 0, Tolentino 0.ADVERTISEMENT Quarters: 24-20, 43-34, 57-52, 66-65Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Municipal councilor nabbed for indiscriminate firing in Leyte View comments Poe chides LTFRB exec over termination of motorcycle taxi pilot study Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite FEU held on to the win after it squandered a 65-56 lead midway in the payoff period as the Bullpups rallied behind Clemente and Rhayyan Amsali.“We’re new to this championship atmosphere so we needed a little getting used to. I think they were overwhelmed at first. It was a good thing we were able to recover right away,” said FEU-Diliman coach Albano.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe finals first timers found themselves trailing 2-9, before settling down towards the end of the opening period and taking the momentum.Game 2 is scheduled on Friday also at San Juan Arena with the Baby Tamaraws eyeing to reclaim the crown they last held in 2012. Ginebra makes PH Cup Finals, beats Star in Game 7 Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely 98% of residents in Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated – DILG 15 Taal towns now under total lockdown LATEST STORIES Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac townlast_img read more

Read More »

Ronaldo landmark as Madrid wins, ends Bayern record run

first_imgDozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government Griezmann scores from spot as Atletico beats Leicester On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos View comments Bayern forced several corners early on and the sixth finally paid off when Vidal headed home through Keylor Navas’ fingers.Madrid displayed none of the initiative shown by Bayern in the first half. While Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara were running and forcing the game, the visitors appeared static, waiting for chances to present themselves. They weren’t forthcoming.Bayern should have been 2-0 up at the break, but Vidal sent his penalty well over the bar after Dani Carvajal was adjudged to have handled the ball. The Madrid defender was booked though TV replays showed Ribery’s shot had hit his upper body.“It happens in football. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last,” Ancelotti said of the missed penalty, calling it one of the “small details” which decided the game.Ronaldo scored two minutes after the break with one touch to Carvajal’s cross.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikelycenter_img It ensured Madrid extended its Spanish record of scoring in 53 consecutive games.Zidane had evidently made good use of the interval as Madrid appeared a different side in the second half. Bayern was dealt a blow with a half-hour to play when Javi Martinez was sent off with two yellow cards within three minutes for fouls on Ronaldo.“The sending off was the turning point,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said.But Madrid had already forced the home side back. Navas had little to do and Manuel Neuer was by far the busier ‘keeper.“Their goalkeeper saved lots of chances. A lot,” Zidane said of Germany’s top ‘keeper.Marco Asensio’s introduction for Gareth Bale also invigorated the visitors.Neuer denied Karim Benzema, then Ronaldo from point blank, but he couldn’t stop the ball from squirming between his legs from Ronaldo’s shot after Asensio crossed in the 77th to give Madrid the clear advantage.It could have been worse for Bayern — Sergio Ramos had a goal ruled out late for offside. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test MOST READ LATEST STORIES Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, front, celebrates after scoring his side’s 2nd goal during the Champions League quarterfinal first leg soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, in Munich, Germany. APMUNICH — Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for Real Madrid to beat Bayern Munich, 2-1, in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time), ending the German side’s tournament record of 16 straight wins at home.Ronaldo’s second-half goals saw him become the first player to score 100 goals in European club competition. The Portuguese star ensured Madrid came from behind — after Arturo Vidal’s 25th-minute header for Bayern — to put the defending champions on course to reach the semifinals for a seventh successive year. The second leg takes place in Madrid on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT “We are still alive,” said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti after losing to his former side.Bayern was without club top-scorer Robert Lewandowski after he failed to recover from a knock to his right shoulder. But it had not been beaten at home in the competition since April 2014, when it lost 4-0 to Ancelotti’s Madrid in the semifinals. Madrid went on to win the title.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnAncelotti’s successor at Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, is bidding to become the first coach to lead a side to back-to-back titles in the Champions League era.“We suffered here but all-in-all it’s not easy to play here. They have a great team and great players,” Zidane said. “We needed patience to decide the match. I think it’s a good result for us. The key was patience.”last_img read more

Read More »

Arellano stays alive for q’finals spot, grounds Mapua

first_imgEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend More Taal volcanic quakes recorded despite weaker eruptions After starting 0-4, Jerry Codiñera’s group has went on to win three straight and the Arellano head coach said they’ve been adjusting to the exit of former superstar Jio Jalalon who now plays in the PBA.“We’re the second-best team last year here in Filoil, and we’re still feeling the loss of Jio,” said Codiñera. “The team had an imbalance and we’re just hoping that the ones left behind can carry the team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundArellano shot poorly from the floor, 25-of-81, for a dismal 31 percent but the Chiefs had it covered grabbing 21 offensive rebounds.Kent Salado had 17 points and six rebounds to lead Arellano while Lervin Flores had a 10-point, 20-rebound double-double. China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Read Next WATCH: Kobe Bryant trolls Jalen Rose in ESPN commercial Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Cedric Pelayo led Mapua with 13 points and nine rebounds. MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Arellano University kept its playoff hopes alive in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup after dealing Mapua its seventh straight loss, 68-58, Wednesday in the group stages at the tournament’s namesake arena in San Juan.The Chiefs improved to 3-4 in Group B putting them at sixth place while the Cardinals are yet to win a match with a miserable 0-7 record.ADVERTISEMENT Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in View commentslast_img read more

Read More »

Jamwest crash decision imminent – Gibbs

first_imgJamaica Race Drivers’ Club (JRDC) president Monique Gibbs has said that investigations into the crash between Doug Gore and David Summerbell Jr at the Jamwest Motor Speedway in Westmoreland last Sunday are ongoing and a decision will be made soon.The crash had taken place in the final event of the day, in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship moments after the race’s rolling start.Gibbs said that the investigation is being conducted by officials independent of the JRDC.”The decision is actually being made by the stewards,” she said. “They are concurrently doing their checks and they will keep us abreast as to the outcome. They are from the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club.”Gibbs had previously said that there are certain possible causes for the crash being explored, in order for a ruling and sanctions to be passed down. However she would not be drawn on whether starting the race at a lower point on the track would have prevented the crash, as was previously suggested by Summerbell Jr.”It is a craft of things. If the start wasn’t done properly; if the race should have been restarted or regridded; if someone picks the start, they are pushed back in terms of position, but because the race had not yet started, we have to do the requisite checks before we can apply any penalties,” she said.”We expect the decision to be made within a few days.”The incident saw Gore being hospitalised but he was released a day later and said that it was the worst crash he had experienced in over 20 years in the sport.Gore, the defending CMRC champion, also went on to say that his season is essentially over, as his Audi TT DTM race car had been written off.last_img read more

Read More »

Afghanistan seal Test status

first_imgLONDON (CMC):Just two weeks after shocking West Indies for their first win over a major Test-playing side, minnows Afghanistan have been granted Test status by the International Cricket Council (ICC).They, along with Ireland, were adopted as full members following a unanimous vote at the ICC Full Council meeting at the Oval yesterday.”For a nation like Afghanistan, it is a huge and remarkable achievement. The entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces. It is the perfect Eid (Muslim festival) gift,” Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai said.”Everyone has waited for this news and has been so keen to hear this news. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen, and today, it has become a reality.”Afghanistan, coached by discarded West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, has made waves over the last year with victory in the Intercontinental Cup over Ireland in March, and one-day wins over the Irish, Zimbabwe and Scotland.They snatched the headlines earlier this month when they stunned two-time former World Cup champions West Indies by 63 runs in the first One-Day International of the three-match series at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.They then forced the Windies to labour in pursuit of 136 for victory in the second match, before the hosts got home by four wickets in the 40th over.Afghanistan and Ireland will become the 11th and 12th Test playing nations, joining Australia, India, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and West Indies.last_img read more

Read More »

Riley wins BCA presidency in landslide

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Cricket West Indies director Conde Riley won a landslide victory here, Thursday night to become the new Barbados Cricket Association president. The veteran administrator garnered 284 votes to easily beat out challenges from former Director of Sports Erskine King, who collected 85 votes, and former BCA acting president Deighton Smith, who picked up 80 votes. Riley, an outspoken retired banker who has served in various capacities both at the BCA and Cricket West Indies, replaces legendary former West Indies fast bowler Joel Garner, who is now the senior Windies team manager. “I am very surprised at the number of people who voted for me. I have served on the board of the BCA with my two opponents, and I know their ability,” Riley was quoted as saying afterwards. He said that one of his first priorities would be seeking an end to a dispute that has marred the Everton Weekes Under-13 Championship. Lawyer Calvin Hope was also elected as vice president after picking up 170 votes to defeat former England Test batsman Roland Butcher (118), Maurice Gaskin (107), and Kamal Springer (37). Another lawyer, Gregory Nicholls, has returned as board secretary after winning the race with 172 votes, with Anthea Ishmael (142) and Winston Stafford (112) failing to gain sufficient favour with the BCA membership.last_img read more

Read More »

Follow the Trace | The Butler did it!

first_img Butler’s faith, vision and perseverance amidst the condemnation and criticisms of many detractors, and a myriad of adversities, has been rewarded with that breakthrough deal for his premier player, Leon Bailey. With the experience garnered, and contacts made along that storied journey, Craig Butler’s experience and expertise must be of some value to Jamaica’s football going forward. Amid all the ego-driven and testosterone-fuelled quagmire, the Bayer Leverkusen forward Bailey is yet to make his debut for Jamaica and that is a pity. What would be an even bigger pity is if this current situation continues to be mismanaged and Jamaica ends up losing out on the services of Leon Bailey. In the wider scheme of things, an invitation to the national team to Kyle Butler is a small price to pay for securing the international future of Leon Bailey. Kyle Butler, the biological son of Craig is a young creative midfielder playing professionally in the little known premier league in Malta. In a context where even schoolboys have gotten call ups to the national squad, even without the Leon Bailey attachment, there is no good reason why Kyle Butler could or should not get even an invite. National coach Theodore Whitmore himself has admitted the need to find creative players to complement the core he is currently moulding. It would be a travesty of justice if young Kyle was refused an opportunity to make an impression for his country because of the utterances and actions of his father. Whitmore should simply invite the younger Butler and have a look at him, if he is not good enough, he says ‘thank you very much’ and we move on. Let us try to do what’s best for Jamaica by focusing more on the message and try as best we can to ignore the messenger. Craig Butler is who he is: a creature of circumstances and a man who did what he did and did it his way. Let us not waste another precious opportunity because of personal feelings and pettiness. The focus must be on sorting out this mess and get Leon ‘Chippy’ Bailey donning the colours of the Reggae Boyz sooner rather than later. So what if THE BUTLER DID IT? Sparks continue to fly from yet another high- profile round of controversy ignited by enigmatic football personality Craig Butler, who’s reported suggestion or request for his son Kyle to be invited to the national senior team, along with prize player Leon Bailey, is causing the stir. Butler has insisted it was not a demand but merely questions and suggestions. Nevertheless, resentment to the Phoenix Academy boss has intensified as the accusations continue to spiral about these and other alleged demands made of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the national coach. If Craig Butler asked some questions and made some suggestions regarding player selection and team philosophy, what is so wrong with that? He can suggest and recommend all he wants, the final say remains with the JFF and the national coach. What’s the fuss about? Butler is, after all, the agent and guardian for both of these young Jamaican players and has evidently attempted this strategy before, but just like we suspect, that KRC Genk did in Belgium, and we assume Bayer Leverkusen did in Germany, the Butler ‘combo’ was rejected. Similarly, Jamaica should or should not reject Butler’s request depending on what the technical staff thinks of the quality of Kyle Butler. For things to have escalated into an insult-trading war of words, points to a total mismanagement of a very manageable situation. Craig Butler has his many and major flaws like all of us, but let us, for the sake of football-resist the temptation to throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water. Butler’s methods might be unconventional and unorthodox; he is certainly not the most politically correct in his utterances, but his belief in, and conviction to, the development of young Jamaican players is unquestionable, and this is quite refreshing in a climate where the Jamaican football leadership had long been heading in the completely opposite direction of running to England to beg and beseech second-rate players with questionable commitment to come and represent Jamaica. Faith and visionlast_img read more

Read More »