Coal Barge in Indonesia

Photo | 2014-03-18

Coal barges come down the Mahakam river in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo every few minutes. East Kalimantan is Indonesia's most significant coal export region, over 200 million tonnes of coal was shipped out in 2011. If it was a country, it would be the eighth biggest coal producer in the world. Coal mining has caused widespread water pollution in the Makaham River, which flows through rainforests and is home to 147 indigenous freshwater fish species. Land erosion from deforestation and mining has dramatically increased the risk of flooding in the region. From 2010 to 2012, the city of Samarinda has recorded a total of 218 floods and has now acquired the reputation of "Kota Banjir", or flood city.