Lombok Ocean Care with Sakinah
Welcome to the Pristine Ocean podcast. I’m your host, Peter Hall. The podcast talks to people around the world fighting the scourge of marine plastic litter.
My God, people hate me because I’m always posting this pictures of of the rubbish container and send it to all government officials and all these WhatsApp groups and complaining too.
Maybe you’ve been thinking of visiting the country of Indonesia.
Although Bali is the destination of choice for many people, you might also consider the island of Lombok right next door.
Not so many tourists with friendly and relaxed locals.
You might be interested in pink sand beaches, old temples, rain forests, animals to observe, and the best snorkelling and diving, then Lombok might be your dream destination.
But like many item locations in Southeast Asia, Lombok’s waste disposal systems are just not up to the job.
Plastic waste is swept into the waters.
Turtles, birds, fish and even large mammals such as dolphins might eat the waste or become entangled in it and drown.
Backyard burning of plastic waste and groundwater contamination are health threats. Incomes from tourism are affected if the visitors see pollution as a reason not to visit.
Were you talking today to someone who is fighting back?
Sakina runs a zero waste restaurant on Lombok. The Asmara. The restaurant is rated highly by tourists and locals. It has something for everyone.
In the early 90s, Sakina had two small children and a problem.
How to take care of her young family.
She decided to start a restaurant to cater for the increasing number of tourists coming from Europe, the Italians, the Germans.
She herself was born in Germany but has converted to Islam. Thus her Indonesian name.
The restaurant, she decided should be upmarket and give visitors peace of mind and not be worried about the infamous Bali belly.
The restaurant is located in a village called Senggigi.
Which is the main tourist location in West Lombok.
The restaurant did well serving 50 guests a day in the Good Times.
But Sakina had to constantly deal with new challenges.
Uh, you know it was good. I mean tourism was good, but then we had all these problems.
Every two years something major happened, and then lately then there was the earthquake and now covet, so it was always like struggling.
The earthquake struck Senggigi in Aug 2018 at the height of the tourist season. Hundreds were killed and thousands injured.
So the restaurant was packed. It happened just when people either were already eating or just ordered.
And then suddenly it started to shake like crazy and all the tyres falling from the rules and people.
Running out, screaming, knocking over chairs and tables, and it was really it was really bad.
Despite the chaos in the disruption, something good began.
Um the beach cleanups especially that started in after the earthquake about five months after the earthquake.
When everybody was out of business and everything looked terrible and people needed something positive so it was really nice to go to do something out on the beach and clean up.
And and I started my snorkelling group where we took rubbish out of the of the ocean and from the seabed and.
And many, many people joined because everybody needed that positive. I mean mainly it was mainly Westerners.
In the beginning, but then later these other groups formed. They got inspired by us, and so especially young Indonesian people who then joined and and then we did.
Start we tried to to educate, so separating the rubbish directly on the beach to see what can be recycled. What can be made into a kubricks at that time? What has to go to the land?
And I think this inspired quite a few people, so other communities started to form on or get active, and so that was really a good thing.
And that was the time when everybody was just like confused how things will go ahead. So at least they wanted to clean up their their beach and Dan make make something good. Yeah, that’s how it started.
After the earthquake, people were just getting their lives back together again when the next shockwave arrived.
The pandemic reduced her business to a single customer each day.
She told me that she will master this crisis just as she has done in the past.