On 28 May 2006 hydrogen sulfide gas leaked from a gas exploration rig in Sidoarjo, Java, Indonesia. Shortly after the leak hot mud and boiling water erupted from the ground close to the site at a rate of thousands of liters a minute. Within hours the mud was inundating nearby villages.
For nine months the mud continued to flow at the rate of one million barrels a day. The resulting pools of mud – some up to 10 meters deep – have rendered whole villages uninhabitable, factories have closed down, agricultural land has been destroyed and thousands of people had to flee from their homes.
Two years later and whilst the flow of mud has reduced, there has been no significant progress by the government to stop it for good. Meanwhile it continues to devastate people’s lives. It is estimated that 11,000 people have been made homeless and thousands more have serious health issues often related to the noxious gases that accompany the mud flow. At least one hundred deaths are directly related to the mud.
The Indonesian government have currently suspended the prosecution of Lapindo Brantas as the company have found some experts who claim the cause of the mudflow was due to an earthquake that struck a few days earlier. The majority of experts though dismiss this theory and have produced numerous reports and articles citing human error.
We’re calling on the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to ensure:
- The responsibility of Lapindo Brantas Inc to stop the mud flow and compensate all the victims;
- The repair of existing damage, without causing any more environmental or social costs;
- The basic rights fulfilling of Lapindo victims, such as access to clothes, foods and land;
- To anticipate the increasing number of victims.
The email you send below will also be sent to Lapindo Brantas, Energi Mega Persada (the company buying the gas and oil) and the Indonesian legislative office.