Today the time has come for the last blog post from the “accommodation-environment” team. Last post also means: The end of the International Field Project is coming closer! Unbelievable how time flies by. We especially noticed it yesterday evening, when we needed to say goodbye to our Indonesian friends from STP Bandung during dinner. We really enjoyed the time we spent together. Terima Kasih (Still working on my Indonesian)!
During the past few days, we continued our research about water, waste and energy management on Belitung. During the stakeholder meeting last Tuesday, we already noticed some differences compared to Sumba. We heard that Belitung island also faces problems with regard to water management. But unlike Sumba – where there is water scarcity – here the problem is water quality. The water on Belitung is yellow. The yellow colour indicates a high percentage of iron in the water. Therefore, it must be treated first, especially to use it as drinking water. However, not everybody can afford the expensive technology to afford this treatment. In order to discover more details about this issue and other challenges we started doing interviews with the different hotels in Tanjung Pandan.
Immediately another difference was recognised. While on Sumba it was often possible to approach a hotel and directly have the possibility to do the interview, on Belitung it is sometimes better to have an appointment.
This morning I had one of them. As it took a few minutes until the manager had welcomed a large group of people who just arrived, Evgenia and I got some really nice pieces of different cake. What a nice start! The interview provided some really interesting insights in the water, waste and energy system of the area. The hotel also faces the problem of the yellow colour in the water, but they solved it by using filters. Furthermore, they buy water from a local supplier. However, the manager fears that the possibility to buy clean water might decrease with increasing tourist numbers on the island.
We were positively surprised, by the fact that waste is collected instead of being burned. For our value chain it is now interesting to get more information about the how waste collection is organised. Energy on Belitung is provided by PLN, which works well so far. But its capacity needs to increase if new properties get connected to the network. These insights are really helpful for our research!
After the interview the hotel manager invited us to help with an English training workshop including dinner for his employees to improve their English skills. We are looking forward to this! We are happy that we cannot only support the hotel by sharing their story, but also by helping them directly in giving this English language training.
Afterwards, it was time to pack our backpack again and get a driver to go to the North of Belitung. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, and has several resorts located along the coast. It will be interesting to find out whether they face challenges similar to the hotels in the city of Tanjung Pandan.
Written by: Julia